Forever My Baby Girl

Long ago, in a hospital far, far away…

A beautiful baby girl was born. Tiny, with a full head of dark hair, our Ashley completed our family. We knew she’d be our last kiddo–and perhaps we spoiled her a little. Ok, a lot. But she was easy to spoil.

At her four week checkup our general practitioner noticed our baby had an irregular heartbeat, a slight murmur, he said, and sent us to a pediatric heart specialist in Amarillo. By the time we were able to see Dr. Jones, Ashley was almost six weeks old. He diagnosed her as being in the early stages of heart failure and immediately sent us to the hospital.

What followed was a controlled panic fueled by guilt. Our baby seemed quite healthy to us. How was it we hadn’t noticed the slight blue cast to her lips when she cried? Well, she really didn’t cry much, only when she was hungry, needed a diaper changed, or was being bathed. She was so easy to comfort.

On December 8, 1980, I sat in a hospital room at St. Anthony’s hospital in Amarillo, Texas. As I nursed my baby girl, television programming was interrupted to inform us that John Lennon had been murdered outside his apartment building in New York. Dr. Jones walked in the room at that moment to find me crying, and he sat with me as we watched the shocking news.

Dr. Jones finally told me he’d made arrangements for Ashley to be transferred to a hospital in Houston where she’d most likely be undergoing surgery to repair a ventricular septal defect. So, just before Christmas, Studly, my mom, our son Jason, Ashley, and I flew to Houston.

A great deal of testing and waiting, waiting and testing ensued. Our poor baby was poked and prodded and hooked to tiny electrodes. She remained happy throughout. In fact, the only thing she protested was bath time, and she hated that with a passion. At midnight before her scheduled surgery I was instructed that she could have nothing to eat. Did I mention earlier that I was a nursing mother?

The two of us managed to cope through the night with the use of a pacifier and lots of snuggling, but by 10 a.m. I’m not sure which of us was more miserable. My baby was hungry and crying. My breasts were swollen like two overripe cantaloupes. Studly kept pestering the nurses about our situation. Then Mom went in search of someone who could help.

At noon I hefted a swollen melon under each arm and marched to the nurses’ desk. I told the nurse on duty that our little one had been scheduled for surgery, but that no one had come and that little Ashley was really hungry. Her suggestion–perhaps she could suck on a lollipop. I lost it. In my imagination I took one breast and squirted milk right in her eye. In reality I blubbered something about boobs and infants and being scared and why wouldn’t someone do something.

The nurse apologized and went immediately to find an answer. Within a few minutes we had a doctor at our door. The delay had resulted from a split decision. Some of the surgical staff wanted to operate. Others wanted to try medication to regulate Ashley’s heartbeat to see if the defect would close on its on and reevaluate in six months. At that point, I didn’t care, I just wanted to feed my baby.

In the end, there was no surgery. The doctors put Ashley on a form of digoxin and she thrived. Every year we went for heart check ups, all of which were great, and eventually there was no trace of a defect. Hooray for split decisions!

Our Ashley is 34 years old today. She is bright, beautiful, sassy, stubborn, and the mother of three of my beautiful grandbabies. Sometimes when I look at her I still picture her tiny face just as it looked so many years ago, watching me as I held her close. She’s grown up, but she’s still my little baby girl. Love you, Ashley.

Peace, Baby Girl.

P.S. Ashley your gift is going to be late.

The Hard Way

Lessons I’ve learned through experience:

Potatoes have to be cooked before you can mash them.

Sometimes one margarita is one too many.

Good things don’t always come in small packages. (e.g. Bacon flavored gum)

Hot motorcycle pipes and bare legs are a painful combination.

Tissues make terrible bra stuffers.

Nothing tastes as good coming back up as it did going down.

Easter eggs begin to stink when hidden under a bed for a year.

Don’t expect to sleep well after a Walking Dead marathon.

Not everyone gets my sense of humor.

People get feisty over politics.

A smile won’t win over all your critics.

Time isn’t always on one’s side.

Riding a motorcycle while hungover is akin to having a raucous drum cadence played inside one’s head.

Just because one works better under pressure doesn’t mean one should leave projects to the last minute.

Peace, People!

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The Hard Way

Lessons I’ve learned through experience:

Potatoes have to be cooked before you can mash them.

Sometimes one margarita is one too many.

Good things don’t always come in small packages. (e.g. Bacon flavored gum)

Hot motorcycle pipes and bare legs are a painful combination.

Tissues make terrible bra stuffers.

Nothing tastes as good coming back up as it did going down.

Easter eggs begin to stink when hidden under a bed for a year.

Don’t expect to sleep well after a Walking Dead marathon.

Not everyone gets my sense of humor.

People get feisty over politics.

A smile won’t win over all your critics.

Time isn’t always on one’s side.

Riding a motorcycle while hungover is akin to having a raucous drum cadence played inside one’s head.

Just because one works better under pressure doesn’t mean one should leave projects to the last minute.

Peace, People!

You Are My Density

The meat in my sandwich
The cold in my ice
The onions in my taco
The dots on my dice.

The biscuit ‘neath my gravy
The tootsie in my roll
The water in my ocean
The statistics in my poll.

The sand in my bucket
The flowers in my vase
The chocolate in my chip
The smile on my face.

Love you, Studly.

Peace, People!

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Celebrate

Well, it’s great news. My moles were nothing more than moles. Of course I’d already planned for the worst, written my own eulogy and scheduled my farewell tour. It seems a shame to waste the eulogy, so I won’t.

Nananoyz.

What can we say about a woman of her wit, her talent, her love for her fellow man? We could say that she never met a stranger. We could say that she had more time on her hands than was prudent. We could say that she was a hopeless romantic who always held out hope that Studly would one day surprise her with a romantic getaway to a Caribbean island retreat where she would have unlimited access to every spa service ever conceived.

We could say that she had a heart of pure gold, but that would be a total lie. She actually had a heart of flesh and blood, which could be broken by a harsh word or thoughtless deed even though she always claimed the opposite.

We could say that she loved her children, but that would be an understatement. She adored them. We could say that her grandchildren were important to her, but in truth they made her days worth living. They were her reason for being.

She didn’t want a long eulogy, so I’ll stop with one last thought. Nananoyz wanted people to be kind to one another. So, smile at one another as you leave this place. Hug your spouse. Embrace your children and grandchildren. Go forth and be kind.

And please, don’t let Studly take wife #2 to a Caribbean island.

(I’m resting in) Peace, People!

Blogging Junkie

Psssst. Hey, you, yea you.
You got any good ideas?
C’mon man, I just need one.
That’s all I need.
Just a little hit and then I’ll give it up for good.

Oh?
I told you that yesterday?
My bad.
But, I picked up two more followers, man,
and they’re gonna want the good stuff.

I’m jonesin’ dude.
Yeah, I can stop writing anytime I want,
but you know, this ain’t the right time.
I’ll just write one more post.
I promise.

What’s that?
I should write about wine?
No dude.
I already did that like three times already.
Maybe I should find a new supplier.
You keep peddling that same old sh*t.

Pssssst. Hey you.

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Calamity Pain

Ways I’ve injured myself over the years:

Almost cut my pinkie toe off playing in the back of a friend ‘s dad’s work truck.

Fell into the middle of a Tilt-a-Whirl at a carnival and knocked myself goofy.

I slid off the back of Studly’s motorcycle and broke my tailbone after he landed on top of me.

My socks slipped and I slid down a flight of stairs on my butt. Twice.

At a Linton, ND, basketball game I fell down an entire set of bleachers.

I stepped out of a bus at the University of Mary in Bismarck, ND, and fell flat on my butt.

My first trip into Manhattan I slid on a slippery street and landed in the middle of Times Square. My hand landed squarely on a heart shaped charm on my bracelet and for two months I had a perfect heart shaped imprint on my palm.

I once got my feet tangled in my purse straps and fell face down in front of a group of coworkers, bruising a knee in the process.

The very next day I slipped on a patch of ice and bruised my other knee.

Numerous times I have bonked my head on cabinet doors and open drawers.

I have a Ph.D in toe stubbing. My thesis was “Why Toes Are a Necessary Evil in a World of Coffee Tables and Desks.” I’m still searching for a publisher.

Roller Skates and Sexual Innuendo

Melanie Safka recorded “I’ve Got a Brand New Pair of Roller Skates” back in 1971. As a teenager I loved the song and sang it often. This past week something triggered memories of the tune and it got stuck in my head. I found myself singing it all the time. What a fun, happy song!

Or is it? An acquaintance of roughly my age heard me singing it and commented, “I always liked that song, but my mom wouldn’t let me sing it.”

“Really?” I asked, intrigued. “Why?”

“Well, she thought it was too sexual.”

Ok. This came as a complete surprise to yours truly. What could possibly be sexual about a young girl celebrating her love of roller skating? I turned to Wikipedia, the defacto source of information for everything in the universe.

According to Wikipedia, “Many listeners detect sexual innuendo in the lyrics, with the key in its lock meant to symbolize sexual intercourse, or in phrases such as “I go pretty far” and “I’ve been all around the world.”

Miss Safka said that she wrote the tune in about 15 minutes, and that there was no deep expression behind the lyrics. She explained, “…people read things into it. They made up incredible stories as to what the lyrics said and what the song meant. In some places, it was even banned from the radio.”

She also acknowledges though, that locks and keys are pretty obvious Freudian symbols for sex, so one could certainly draw such conclusions about the song.

I can’t believe I’ve been so naive all these years! What other subliminal messages lurk in the songs from my youth? Next they’ll be telling me that “Ring Around the Rosie” is really a reference to the Black Death outbreak in the 14th century. I don’t even want to think about “Eensy, Weensy Spider.”

Can you imagine what the lyrics for “Roller Skates” might be if written in this century? The innuendo would be gone, and the key replaced with an anaconda.

Lyrics to “I’ve Got a Brand New Pair of Roller Skates

I rode my bicycle past your window last night
I roller skated to your door at daylight
It almost seems like you’re avoiding me
I’m OK alone but you’ve got something I need, well

Refrain:
I’ve got a brand new pair of roller skates
You’ve got a brand new key
I think that we should get together and
Try them on to see
I been lookin’ around awhile
You got something for me
Oh, I got a brand new pair of roller skates
You got a brand new key

I ride my bike, I roller skate, don’t drive no car
Don’t go too fast, but I go pretty far
For somebody who don’t drive, I been all around the world
Some people say I done all right for a girl

I asked your mother if you were at home
She said yes, but you weren’t alone
Oh, sometimes I think that you’re avoiding me
I’m OK alone but you got something I need, well

Refrain

I roller skate, I ride my bike, don’t drive no car
Don’t go too fast, but I go pretty far.
Sometimes I think that you’re avoiding me.
I’m okay alone but you got something I need.

Oh, I’ve got a brand new pair of roller skates
You’ve got a brand new key.
I think that we should get together to try them out and see,
I’ve been looking around awhile
You’ve got something for me
Oh I’ve got a brand new pair of roller skates
You’ve got a brand new key.

Peace, People!

October State of Mind

If “Playmonth” was a magazine and each month received a centerfold, October’s layout would be the best of all. I can see her now, flaming red hair against a backdrop of gold, green, and rust. Her arms flung wide in welcome. Her smile warm and generous. Oh, and her eyes! Her eyes would reflect the passion and promise of autumn. “Come enjoy me,” she’d seem to say in that come hither voice of hers. “I’m all yours.”

When the voting for “Playmonth of the Year” was tallied, the results wouldn’t even be close. October would prevail in a landslide. She’d be interviewed on “The View” by Whoopi Goldberg and Rosie O’Donnel.

Rosie: Hello October! You are looking good!

October: Mmm. Thank you so much. I’ve been working out.

Whoopi: Wait. Welcome, October? I don’t get it…October’s a month….Who booked a month as a guest on the show?

Rosie: I hear you have a big project in the works. Are you more than just another pretty month?

October: Yes, I hope so anyway. My project is to encourage all the coniferous trees into following the deciduous trees’ lead by turning colors during my time as Playmonth of the Year.

Rosie: That’s quite an undertaking.

Whoopie: I’m sorry, but I think that is scientifically impossible.

October: Oh I won’t let a little thing like science stop me. You see, my likes are happy thoughts and nonsense, and my hobbies are roasting marshmallows and hiking through crunchy leaves. I have no use for science.

Rosie: Spoken like a true Playmonth! Everyone, check out October’s layout in “Playmonth Magazine” and you’ll see why she’s Playmonth of the Year.

Whoopie: Why are we calling it that? It’s a calendar for Pete’s sake. October’s a month. Good grief. See what happens when Barbara Walters leaves the show?

Peace, People!