Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Ask Me About My Neighborhood

We're - we're FAMOUS! In a good way this time! I turned on my computer this morning and the first thing I see is this:

Way to go Fargo!

Not only is the unemployment rate a mere 1.5% here, and the annual mean income is 32K, but you can also buy a home - a real home - not a 'fixer-upper' for an average mean price of $165,000!

OK, sure, it gets cold here; and it's flatter than a pancake...er, lefsa; and ya shure -we do talk funny sometimes; but jeez it's nice. Its nice to have great neighbors, that talk to you (ok that can be a good thing or a bad thing); schools where your kids don't have to fear gangs (except the occasional roving Lutherans pushing their lutefisk); and I don't care who you are - you gotta love an average commute time of 20 minutes - and that's during rush hour!

I grew up in sunny Southern California nestled at the feet of the Sierra Madres and a stone's throw from sparkling beaches. I transplanted to the midwest over 15 years ago, and I've lived in the Red River Valley for 7. I consider myself a 'transplant survivor.' The way I see it, you can take a vacation to get warmer or see palm trees, and you can drive less than an hour east and practically get a nosebleed from the elevation changes, and if the locals start to bug ya... well, you cover your mouth and snicker politely to yourself... and, if you look around, you might just see one or two other transplant survivors snickering too.... one of them can even sell you a house!

Friday, January 12, 2007

Deja Vu Meme

I saw this Deja Vu Meme on Meeta's site saying she'd assign a letter to whoever wanted to play and since I apparently have nothing better to write about, I asked for a letter. She gave me the letter T.

Here’s how it works: Write ten words that start with the letter you are assigned and a brief description of why you chose that particular word.

If you too have writer's block and want to play along just say so in the comments. I’ll assign you a letter in my comments and there ya go!

The letter T
  1. Thomas. Which is my maiden name - a pretty common one - especially when paired with my first name Linda. I'm married to a Dave and we know another Linda and Dave couple - turns out the other Linda's maiden name is Thomas too. Weird.
  2. Train-wreck. Which is probably what this post will turn into.
  3. Telepathy. The ability to tell what someone else is feeling or thinking. I totally believe in this, especially between people who care about each other.
  4. Taboo. Off limits, or forbidden. Also a fun game to test your vocabulary skills. This used to be a very popular perfume, of course they misspelled it TABU. Why would you want a perfume name that meant off limits?
  5. Technorati Tags. A clever way to boost hits on your site.
  6. Tape. One of the two things in our house that will disappear if not hidden from the kids. The other being scissors.
  7. Tara. The hill of kings in Ireland, but perhaps a better description would be Gerald O'Hara's words from Gone With The Wind: "Do you mean to tell me, Katie Scarlett O'Hara, that Tara, that land doesn't mean anything to you? Why, land is the only thing in the world worth workin' for, worth fightin' for, worth dyin' for, because it's the only thing that lasts."
  8. Thrifty. Not the cheap, frugal, stingy kind of thrifty - I'm talking Thrify Drug Stores which always brings to mind the one in my home town of Goleta where a dime could get you two scoops of cylindrically shaped ice cream stacked on top of each other.
  9. Tigger. "Tee-eye-double-guh-RRRR" My absolute favorite cartoon character, voiced by the very cool Paul Winchell, who also was the voice of the Scrubbing Bubbles.
  10. Through. Done. Complete. Finished. Ta Dah!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Delurking Week

I admit it, I am a lurker myself. I click on the comments of the blogs I regularly check in on and then I click on the link to the commenter's blog. You can really find some amazing personalities this way! I laugh, or I cry, or I agree, or shake my head in absolute disbelief, and sometimes I add them to my favorites, but most times I don't comment. I guess I let my insecurity get the best of me - figuring 'they don't know me' or 'other's have already commented better than I could' or worse yet - 'they don't care what I have to say.' But that is totally wrong! I know I'd love to know who the hundred and some people are who've clicked here since I put in the counter! I'd love to know where you clicked from, and why!

I'm commenting on every blog I read today - if only to say hi. Will you?

Friday, January 05, 2007

Bio-Freakin'-Identicals Baby!

Ok, so there's a link on the homepage of MSN today to an article on Hormone Replacement Therapy. I read it, and even now, in my bioidentical hormonally induced state of perfectness, I got steamed! There are so many of us smart and savvy 50-something women out there, who will click on that article hoping to find some insight into our symptoms - only to find what turns out to be a reprint of an article from May of 2006!

In my humble opinion, this was a poorly researched article in the first place, if only for the reason that it never even mentions bioidenticals. Not to mention that it reads like a dashed off rephrasing of the AP news articles of a couple of weeks ago.

The callus attitude of that article is, if not the main reason, at least one of the reasons why I started this blog. I felt myself descending into some alien world of sleeplessness, crankyness, and worst of all what I thought was creeping insanity. Flashes of paranoia, tempered by brazen bitchiness, confusion, lethargy - oh and not to mention the hot flashes. I went to the doctor for some of the symptoms, but fretted and fumed over the ones I thought were a slow progression to the funny farm. All the while of course, tending to my family, doing my job and - as women do - making sure everyone else felt good, even if I didn't. And worst of all, I felt like I was all alone.

There is a lot of information out there - lots of blogs, lots of websites, all claiming to know what's right. I do not claim to have the answer for everyone. Its just that once I started reading about other women who were experiencing the same things I was, and when I started researching the many ways they dealt with it - I felt better. At least, even if I was going insane, I wasn't the only one.

The thing is, I wasn't going insane. I was just experiencing a very normal phase of life, but in an age where everything is talked about more, and information shared more freely, I found out I didn't have to suffer in silence like my mother and older sisters. I read about alternatives, I went to my doctor and even asked her to refer me to a specialist. After what turned into about a year of trial and error, and more error, and friends trying to be helpful, I returned to my female nurse practitioner whom I trust, and who will work with me to make me and keep me healthy. She prescribed bioidentical (plant based) progesterone capsules, taken once at night 6 days a week. The difference is nothing short of amazing. I've been taking them for a little more than a month now, and what I notice most is that I'm more energetic and less bitchy. I still get a couple of hot flashes a day and I still wake at 3 a.m., but I'm just happier about it now.

My hope is that if just one person reads this and because of it, can look at this stage of life a little differently, then I've made a difference.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

To Do List for tomorrow...

1. Be at the office no later than 7:30 a.m.; Bring the following...
a. Bearly's waders and wear his ripped jeans,
b. Hat and bandana
c. Crisco - in case Randy forgets to deliver the beard
d. Pie pans
e. Shovel and axe (if I can find it)

2. 9:30 a.m. Perform skit to 'kick-off' Education Committee's Prospecting Contest

3. 10:05 a.m. Resign from Education Committee

4. 11:30 a.m. Meet girls at Seasons, order tee martoonies - drink, rinse, repeat.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

I believe in magic

Sometimes magic comes in the form of luck, sometimes as a result of hard work and perserverance. Sometimes, magic is just a state of mind - or a great sewing machine.

The four fish costumes I've been sewing are just about done. Every time I or my family look at the finished product we are amazed - it's like magic! I would place this effort in the 'hard work' magic category, since I've been laboring on this for the entire Christmas break. But still, I have always thought of sewing as a state of mind too - a sort of zen meditation. You pin and you cut, and you sew, and you rip out, and you pin and you cut and so on and ...sew on. The time my family has given me to pursue this project has been priceless and...yes, magic. Especially in the eyes of my sometimes jaded teenagers. I must be a magician if I can take that pile of material in varying shades of grey, and some spools of thread and a sack of some notions from the fabric store and turn them into four gleaming personality filled piscaforms - I think they must believe in magic too!

Once I actually got frustrated enough to take the time to focus and read the instructions for the machine, which by the way, are in German, French, Italian and English - I finally figured out how to adjust the tension in the thread and the presser foot! Turns out this "fancy schmancy Pfaff" has adjustments for just about anything - including sewing through two layers of foam, two layers of slippery shiny material, and two layers of lining. Knowing how to use the said 'fancy schmancy' equipment in the right way, makes a lot of difference in the ease of having a 'fancy schmancy' - dare I say magic... outcome.

It reminds me of the wizards of old, practicing incatations or healing with herbs. Over and over again, they must have tried and failed tried and improved and finally, after reading the directions, or focusing their concentration, come up with something that actually worked - something that looked like magic!

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year!

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Here are Downtown Dad and me celebrating 2007 at Monte's Downtown. It was a lovely evening just the two of us amongst a throng of revelers and a 3 person jazz combo. We had a fabulous dinner that was elegantly presented and timed perfectly to the 10 second countdown. It was a culinary adventure for both of us, as we had to sneak peeks at other diners to see how, and many times, what to eat on our plates! The 5 courses included:

Eggplant battered shrimp with caper berry relish with 3 aioli blend red pepper black pepper and lemon thyme - served with a small pour Fume Blanc. Osetra Caviar stuffed quail eggs - served with a shot of Stoli. Carpaccio of Kobe beef with seared fois gras - with a lovely Syrah followed by a palate cleansing Champagne sorbet.

We chose to have 1 of each and share the entrees which were: Filet Mignon with roasted garlic cream and pomegranate demi-glaze with a cabernet; and Cold Water Lobster Tail with artichoke heart and pancetta stuffing with a dijon-tarragon vinaigrette and proscuitto wrapped asparagus and a glass of chardonnay. For dessert there was black forest cake served with a chocolate infused port.

And last of all - a glass of champagne to toast the new year! Pretty darn uptown spiffy for downtown Fargo!