Happy Go Lucky Street

The stay at home orders are continuing to send us through the circles of hell.  When will they end?  Do we really need them right now?  Can’t we at least try to get back to some kind of normal?  There is not even a target date here in Oregon and our curve is flat.  We hear nothing from our Governor.  So further into the circles we go.  We  passed through level three where we were tortured with The New England Patriot’s Super Bowl wins.  However, desperate to get out of level three which is Gluttony, we had to take a dive through the secondary part of level three which was the Philadelphia hot dog eating contest. Have  you ever watched the hot dog eating contest, buns and all?  Grown men stuffing hot dogs in their mouths, for what?  The glory? There is no vomiting allowed.  But in hell, you see a lot of it.  And we thought the Super Bowl wins was bad…

Being stuck at home for a month already and looking at another one, sent us tumbling down further into the circles.  We found ourselves on circle # four which is Greed.  Sure enough, we were in Filene’s Basement in Boston on Bridal Gown day.  Thousands of would be brides stormed the basement as it opened.  We were tromped and trampled.  Women whose weddings were coming up and should have been happy were snarling at each other. One would be bride snatched a dress from another bride and shoved and weaved her way through the screaming masses with the dress.  We crawled out of Filene’s only to be caught in the Black Friday crowds at Target and if we thought the brides were bad, you should have seen this crowd.  Would we come out alive or would we be suffocated underneath huge bodies running over us.  We could see ahead the crowds surrounding the toilet paper, screaming and fighting for the two ply.  Did we even have to go through the toilet paper wars in hell?  We realized that was part of why we were in hell after all.  Surely circle 5 could not be this bad?  We knew circle 5 was Anger and we were there.  We were angry, so we slipped down further and now we’re on circle #5.

We are surrounded by anger on circle #5.  Once friendly neighbors had all become tattletales. It was a cacophony of tattlers, all screaming at each other. Some Governors have set up tattletale hot lines. “I saw her go under the yellow tape to walk with her small children in the closed park.”  “I saw a car parked by the trail which means they drove to hike and they’re not supposed to. Let me give you their license plate number.”  “Arrest that man, he is not wearing a mask.”  ” I am a good judge of distance and I walked by a group of people standing only 5 feet apart and not only that, they were drinking. Most insulting of all, they were laughing.   Don’t they know this is serious?   We are supposed to all be miserable together.  The address is 310 Happy Go Lucky Street of all things. I hope you can come quickly so I can get my pleasure out of seeing them arrested.”  The only glimmer of hope from this group of tattlers was that one of them tattled on Tom Brady who was seen working out in a closed park in his new home town of Tampa.

WFLA NEWS

@WFLA

Replying to @WFLA and 4 others

Mayor @JaneCastor on a @TomBrady sighting in Tampa:

“Our parks are closed down so a lot of our park staff patrol around…and saw an individual working out in one of our downtown parks. She went over to tell him it was closed. And it was Tom Brady.” https://bit.ly/2xn0bQ9 

 

Surely the next level will not be Heresy, but Revolt.  That is a level I am looking forward to. I think.  This is hell after all.

Are you still Trapped?

Home Clothes

Never has Groundhog day meant so much to so many people as day after day the same routine repeats.  I keep thinking about Dante’s 9 circles of hell.  Which circle are we in right now and how far down will we have to go and what happens if we do reach that 9th circle?  Are we in the first one still, Limbo?  Or have we descended already into number 5 which is Anger?

Tom and I were hanging out on circle #1  when we decided to watch a movie.  Tom was scrolling through our choices when he stumbled on “Once Upon a Time in the West.  It was made in 1968 and Tom said “I think this is a classic.”  “How can it be a classic” I said, “I’ve never heard of it.”  Then he said “Let’s watch it.”  I wasn’t excited but I agreed.  That movie plunged us headlong into circle #2, Lust, until I realized what that meant so we had to plunge down even further.  I have never seen a movie so awful.  Tom said “I’m sure it gets better, there has to be some action soon.”  There was not.  We watched almost an hour before turning it off.  I looked up the movie as it was that bad and it turns out the Library of Congress preserved it in the National Film Registry as being historically significant.  I would rather scrub my deck again and again over watching that.  It was a box office flop by the way.  I blame this on Tom of course as it was his pick.  I get the next pick and I’m thinking either “Sound of Music” or “Frozen.”

As we plunged into circle 3 what I see is horrifying.  It’s endless TV sets on an endless loop of Tom Brady and the grumpy lobster boat captain Bill Belichick, winning 6 Super Bowls.  If you don’t read Jason Gay, the Wall Street Journal’s sports writer, you will not have heard his nickname for the New England Patriot’s head coach, Bill Belichick.  A more perfect nickname I have never heard.  And if the New England Patriots Super Bowls are only on circle #3, I can’t imagine what horrors await on circle #4.

Did you hear that the Government of Malaysia on Facebook asked the women of the country not to nag their husband during this crisis and to please try to look nice by wearing make up and dress nicely by not wearing home clothes.  This cracked me up and they got a lot of push back, enough that they had to take the post down.  But, are you wearing “home” clothes during this crisis?  I am.  Mine consist of a red turtleneck if it’s cold, or a pink short sleeved shirt if it’s warm, under my dark grey sweatshirt and my light grey jeans.  The other day I was forced to wash the outfit and I was lost as to what to wear.  So far, no complaints from Tom.

Any good movies?  Do you have home clothes? What level of Dante’s circles are you on?

Toilet Paper Dreams

I had a dream about toilet paper.  I was in a grocery store and there was only toilet paper stacked floor to ceiling. I decided if you’re dreaming about toilet paper it’s definitely a sign not to give up your blog.  When I started this blog 6 years ago, it was all about moving to Portland and our adventures surrounding that.  It turns out it was genius to make a friend in the toilet paper business so we have no worries in that department.  Another sign to keep writing is that focusing on your health is not all it’s cracked up to be.  Distraction is good.  Especially now.

I received this package at my front door.  It was from my neighbor, so thoughtful! Don’t we have enough to worry about without worrying about toilet paper? Take sports.  I pretty much plan my life over sports.  I know this is not normal but I also know I am not alone.  So first, my very favorite tournament of the year was cancelled.  March Madness.  I pretty much watch all the games, I love how each team desperately wants to win and get into that Final Four.  And my team had a chance.  So instead of watching the finals of the March Madness tournament last weekend, we were out scrubbing  our deck on our hands and knees.  Then the Masters Golf Tournament was postponed.  I tell you it’s just pure torture.  But a little ray of sunshine to look forward to as today I had an appointment with my doctor who was in the National Squash tournament a few weeks ago in Minneapolis, MN.  She and her partner came in second place and when I grilled her on her strategy and will to win, she promised to send me the video of her playing.  I am very excited and I hope it took them three sets to clinch second place.  I am now reduced to watching my doctor play squash.  If you would like to see it, I can ask her if I can send you the link.

I thought sports was going to be the worst for me but the soap opera I watch, “The Bold and the Beautiful” just announced they were going to stop production for the time being.  I am crushed.  Will Sally actually die?  Where did that nasty Thomas go and will Quinn blow up Brooke and Ridge’s marriage and ruin Katie in the process?  How much loss can a person take?

When I  went for a walk this past weekend I heard two women behind me talking.  One of them was talking about her healthy diet and complaining about all the people eating junk and the disgusting things she sees them putting in their grocery carts.  What’s it to her?  She was obviously feeling pretty superior to people just trying to put some semblance of happiness into their otherwise pretty miserable lives right now.  How judgmental can you be?  When you’re stuck at home and maybe surrounded by bored kids who you now have to home school while also working yourself, who cares if you buy extra bags of Cheetos and chips, cookies and fruit loops? Anything to keep the kiddies happy.  I am enclosing this link of an Italian mother who isn’t coping all that well.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8U6zU4MXmnA   Or even if you’re there with just your husband, a bowl of ice cream is pretty wonderful.  This too shall pass, I’ll get my sports and soap opera back and then everyone will go on a diet.

Today I am cleaning out my refrigerator.

How are you coping? And what was the hardest thing for you to give up?

The Fat Lady Sings

Have you ever wondered where the expression “It’s Not Over Till the Fat Lady Sings” comes from?  How it came to signify the end of something?  I found the following online:  The origin is sort of up in the air, but most entries have to do with a particular basketball game between the San Antonio Spurs and Washington Bullets in 1978.   Sportscaster Dan Cook said it on television  when the San Antonio Spurs were behind in a playoff series with the Washington Bullets.  The Washington Bullets’ coach, Dick Motta, repeated it and was widely quoted by the media.  By the time the Bullets came from behind to win the finals that year, the saying was on thousands of T-shirts, “fat ladies” were coming to games to cheer the team on, and the proverb’s popularity was firmly cemented.

Why the opera reference?  Again, another theory is our stereotype of the female opera singer is that she’s hefty and usually has a horned helmet.  Well anyway, that’s what I think of.

I hate to say it but the Fat Lady is Singing and telling me it’s time to end my blog.  I so appreciate all my readers and the great comments I’ve gotten over the years.  I started this blog 6 years ago when we first moved to Portland.  I recorded my many adventures and discoveries moving to a place where we knew next to no one.  It was frightening but what an experience.  We would definitely do it again.  Eventually the blog evolved and I guess you could say it’s evolving again.

It turns out I am not quite out of the woods as far as my health is concerned and I need to concentrate on that.  I love to write about funny and uplifting things, not to mention all the blogs where I’ve made fun of that guy in the picture standing next to me.  Lately, those things are hard to come by.  So thank you for making time for me in your busy lives, I truly enjoyed it.

Better Than Butter

It all started over a year ago when my college girlfriends came to Portland for our annual get-together.  There are six of us and even with kicking Tom out for the week, I didn’t have enough room for everyone.  So one of my girlfriends and I stayed at a neighbors, just to sleep.  I stocked up on junk food and everything else I could think of.  The first morning as I was making toast, I pulled my go to margarine spread out of the refrigerator and you would have thought I was about to put bacon grease on their bread.  “What is that crap?, that’s plastic, it doesn’t even melt on the toast, where’s the butter” were the comments. “I don’t have butter, this is what I use, take it or leave it, besides, I like it” I said defensively.  It devolved from there and so began another reunion of bad jokes, trash talking and jabbing each other.  We always have the best time!

Fast forward to right now.  My friends are all sure that it was the spread that caused my cancer and they have actually talked me into using real butter.  However, I am rethinking my diet and how it contributes to health and am determined to change a few things.  Mostly less sugar, less alcohol , more vegetables, you get the picture.  I am going to change my recipes to make them better and I may take you on this ride with me.  I was perusing a cookbook I found when rearranging the book shelf called “What To Eat Now” The Cancer Lifeline Cookbook, and guess what I found.  A recipe for a butter spread that is healthy.  I looked with skepticism at the ingredients and then decided to make it.

BETTER THAN BUTTER:   Makes 1 pound

1 cup sweet cream butter,  1 cup canola oil, 1 cup buttermilk, 1 cup ice water (this is the ingredient I was skeptical of)

Soften the butter at room temperature until very soft.   Combine softened butter and oil in a deep mixing bowl and mix until smooth.  This will take about 5-8 minutes.  Slowly add buttermilk and blend.  Then add ice water and blend.  Tip:  Measure a cup of water in a two cup measure. Then put in the ice and pour out excess water until the measure is one cup.  The water makes it all come together. After everything is all blended up, put the resulting concoction the refrigerator where it will firm up.  It works!  And it melts on the toast and it tastes good.  Try it and then let me know what you think.  I can’t wait to see what my college friends will think.

 

Now What?

Today, one year ago, I discovered the lump that would change my life and Tom’s for the next year.  It was a playoff football game I was watching on TV when I jumped off the couch, upset at a call made on the field, crossed my arms and felt the scary lump.  I can’t remember what teams were playing, but because of what I considered a bad call, I found that lump.  My oncologist discovered there were two lumps, not just one and there were two lesions on my liver.  This is Stage 4 Metastatic breast cancer which isn’t something you want to be diagnosed with.  Today, one year later, after a very aggressive treatment regimen, I am in remission.  My oncologist told me that only 1 in 5 patients with my diagnosis reach remission.

What have I learned over the past year?

  1.   Always wear lipstick
  2. . Find an Oncologist with a sense of humor.  It helps.
  3.   Expect the unexpected.
  4.   You will be stunned at the number of friends you have.
  5.   When your friends set up a meal train for you, tell them chicken noodle soup is your least          favorite dish, because if you don’t, by the end of the meal train it will be.
  6.   Tillamook Salted Caramel Toffee Gelato is worth every single calorie.
  7.   It’s really hard not to have hair and you will be stunned at how big your ears are.
  8.  A scary cancer diagnosis is a great motivator.  After thinking about and putting it off for several years, I wrote our family cookbook and memoir.
  9.  Staying positive is essential.
  10.  Staying active is essential.
  11.  Make cookies for the nurses, they will think you are a superhero.
  12.  I really missed wine.
  13.  Everyone needs a Tom
  14.  Always wear lipstick.

I keep asking myself the NOW WHAT question and the why did I get so lucky question, am I supposed to do something amazing?  But I am finding happiness in just the routine things I wasn’t able to enjoy this past year and feeling so grateful to be able to do them.  I do want to make some changes, which I will probably write about, but I am a changed person for sure.  What that will look like this coming year, I will find out!