Saturday, July 26, 2008

Happy Birthday to Mom and Nicole

Tomorrow, July 27, is a very special day. It is the birthday of two classy ladies, my mother, and my good friend Nicole. I'm happy to say, my mom and I have a great relationship. I've detailed a little of my medical history here, but that didn't just affect me. My mother went through a lot of that with me, especially in the beginning. She took me to all of my nephrologist appointments which were an hour and a half away in Oklahoma City and was there when I was first diagnosed. I've been fine with all of this for years, but it was a scary day for a previously healthy 17 year old as words like "transplant" and "dialysis" were suddenly thrown around. We were so depressed that we took a detour to the mall on our way home for shopping and about a pound of chocolate each from the Godiva store.

Mom took charge of my health, from altering our diets to doing her own research on kidney disease. She even took me to Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN for a second opinion (they confirmed the first opinion, but that was good to know). Over the years, she's continued to closely follow my care, whether it's flying across the country when I land in the hospital or being well versed on any new diagnosis within 24 hours.

I make it sound as if our relationship revolves around my health issues. This is not the case, rather it was redefined by them. We became good friends when I got sick, which honestly was an appropriate time for that. When you are a kid, I think it's good for moms to stay moms and not try to be your buddy. That would have made it hard for her to retain the voice of authority. As we become adults that relationship can relax a little and you become more of an equal. These days when we get together, it's usually just to have fun, which is great. My parents are moving down to San Marcos soon (they already have the house, but are not fully moved in and are there about once a month), so visits are likely to be shorter yet more frequent and spontaneous. Thursday, for example, I spent the day with Mom for her birthday going to see Mamma Mia and hanging out at their house playing pool. Their kitties were also there and were exploring their new house for the first time.

Sam and Pippin. Yes, they are named after hobbits. Yes, I may have had a hand in naming them. What?

I haven't known Nicole a long time, really only the past 2 years since we've been back in town. She's become a very good friend, however, and even made camp in our guest room this past winter and spring. Nicole is an awesome housemate and I loved having her around. She's had a rough year and I'm thrilled things are looking up for her.

We went to dinner for her birthday last night at Rudy's and I'm kicking myself now for not bringing a camera so I could post pictures. We did, however, get to admire Nicole's fancy new birthday camera, purchased for her by her man in motion, the Matt.

Nicole's camera. We can only hope her new camera will help her become a world renowned photojournalist, publishing photos under the single name, "Nicholé"

Happy Birthday Mom and Nicole! Hope you have a wonderful day tomorrow!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Alternate uses for bathtubs

Anyone that has been to my house when I'm not expecting company knows I'm not the tidiest of people. Honestly it's good for us to have folks over frequently as it forces us to do cleanups. I don't like being this way. I wish I was one of those people (the majority of the population) who are able to put things back after they use them. Simple enough, right? But sometimes I remember to do this and other times I space out. Then the spacing out overpowers the remembering and soon I've got a cluttered living room.

Having animals doesn't help. About a year ago we gave up completely trying to keep the dogs off the couch, so there's dog and cat hair everywhere. The hair is only part of the problem. Our backyard has grass except for over by the fence where Lucy has dug a trench running back and forth to bark at the neighbor dogs. When it rains this turns into a mud pit. Then Miss Lucy and sometimes Mel will show up at the door wearing a nice set of mud boots. I don't know if you've ever tried cleaning mud off of dog legs, but let me tell you it is a fiesta of fun. Aside from involving a bucket of soapy water (usually just wiping the mud off with a towel is ineffective), washcloths, towels, and enough cursing to embarrass a sailor, there's also the dog's total commitment to not cooperating. Mel is not as bad as Lucy - he will just sometimes wander away when I'm beckoning with a towel. Lu, however, will slowly pull away from you while you're holding her paw which is now slippery from the mud. She'll also flop over like a sack of potatoes when you're attempting to put her foot in the soapy water. Last time I gave up and tossed her in the bathtub for an informal leg bath. Bad idea: it took me an hour to clean the tub afterwards.

Not my dog. Add about 25 lbs to the dog and 10 lbs of mud to the tub and you've got it.

Needless to say, sometimes we don't get every ounce of mud off and they track it on the carpet. Their fur also collects dirt and that, too, is brought inside on a regular basis. Jeff the cat helps out upstairs by scattering his kitty litter all over the bathroom floor. There's nothing better than stepping out of the shower onto wet kitty litter.

Note proximity of kitty litter box to shower door

Kitty also eats in our bathtub. It's a little weird...ok a LOT weird, but it's the only place in the house we can keep his bowl of Cat Chow from being vacuumed by one of the dogs.

My bathtub = Jeff's dining room table

We do HAVE the capacity to keep the house clean as evidenced by our month long house sale in Arizona. Realtors arrived to show the house with minimal warning, so it had to be immaculate at all times. So I know it can be done! Maybe we should just pretend we are selling our house again.