Sunday, October 14, 2012

As you can tell...

Well, if there's anyone left out there who hasn't given up checking for an update, here's the deal, I'm just not feeling it.

I can't remember why exactly I didn't post any more this summer, actually, guess it's last summer at this point. Looking back on it, I think it's just so much easier to quickly write a little blurb on facebook, than to get your thoughts together and type up a coherent piece for the blog, a blog that I felt like no one but me  and the same 4 people was reading anyway.

Now it's fall and school is in full swing, I'm tired, disgruntled, feeling like I can't say what I'd really like to anyway and if I feel like I can't, then I probably shouldn't : )

So, I may get the bug again...and then I may not.

Thank you for all of your comments for being a part of this story.

Take care, Cathy

Thursday, July 19, 2012

For the BIrds

One of the joys of summer is to be able to watch "our" birds. We have feeders and a bird-bath attached to the deck so we always have birds around.

We leave peanuts out for the jays and magpies, in an old pie tin screwed to the deck. One of the magpies has a curled, deformed foot, so he is identifiable. I call him Curly. He has been in our yard for 4-5 years, every year he comes back. He gets around fine. I get such a kick out of watching the magpies choose the best peanut, like an old lady choosing a melon, they pick up one, then put it down, push them around with their beaks, pick and disregard another, until they find the one that is juuust right. Sometimes they struggle to fit TWO in their beaks and off they fly to hide them somewhere around the yard. I have found peanuts in some pretty creative places. The jays just quickly grab one and they're gone.

We have had the most brilliant yellow finches this year! I love their tiny little bodies and they have a sweet song. They and the chickadees and common house finch/sparrows feed at the feeders that have sunflowers and bird seed in them. There is so much waste with the sunflower seeds! Down under the feeder there is a pile of shells and uneaten seeds at a ratio of about 5 to 1 in favor of the seeds! Last night I scooped a bunch up, put them in a shallow bowl, shook them and blew hard to separate the shells from the seed. I'm going to try it with a fan. After blowing , shaking, blowing, shaking I worried that I may have inhaled some dust that could give me bird flu or something...been around Don too long. Anyway, it made me think the biblical wheat and chaff.

This afternoon I saw a mama robin and two babies, this made me really happy after finding a little corpse in the flower bed a couple of weeks ago. I had watched a nest right outside my bedroom window, watched the bird sit, saw the mom and dad feed the babies (y) and then they were gone. I'll have to watch the cats now, try to keep them in. Well actually it's only Lido, the black and white that goes after them. Beans, our brindle brown, tiger-y cat leaves them alone. Joining the robins on the lawn are the crazy little starlings. I know they're trash birds, but marching stiff-legged across the lawn with their whirs, whistles, clacks and chirps they entertain me and when the sun hits their feathers just right the iridescent colors shine. Occasionally we even have a couple of ducks that come and hang out in the backyard, a beautiful mallard pair, pretty brown female and emerald green headed male. The quail hide out , camouflaged in the garden. In the front yard they will fly straight into my very dense ornamental pine. I don't know how they do it! The other day, the pair and about 8 little bumblebee babies ran across the lawn and over to our neighbor's yard.  Such a sweet sight!

The woodpeckers require no feeding. While I was watering the baskets the other day, I saw an adult and 4 baby woodpeckers, the little ones hiding at the base of the tree and close to the ground near the fence, while mom was in the tree.The hawk that hovers overhead sometimes takes advantage of the little birdies that congregate in the yard, but since the fields are rapidly disappearing, they have to eat too so... we've found a pile of feathers a couple of times.

It makes me sad to know that in a couple of weeks  I will be back at school, missing out on the daily bird show. I'll have to make do with the afternoon performance.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Empty Nest

Well, my baby left. I came home and felt like I needed a good cry, but it never came. When I had the chance I just couldn't, I just feel teary now and then. I have to admit, I'm checking my email a couple times, okay, several times a day just in case this is the day he is allowed to write and so far no luck. A funny coincidence, when Ty met with his bishopric at the MTC, one of the counselors saw his name, looked at him and said, "I'll bet your Stephen Cann's brother." My second son Stephen went down to Argentina on his mission, his mission President was Alan Wilkins. He has since come back to Utah to work at BYU and his church calling is now as a member of a bishopric at the MTC. It was Pres. Wilkins! So that was kinda fun to hear! Glad Steve made a good impression and the guy wasn't like, "Oh no, not another of those Cann kids!"

I am so sad that summer is going by so fast! In fact, I can feel pretty down about it and forget to enjoy the days I have. Just like life, eh? I guess I need to find a pin that says Don't be sad the summer ended too soon, just be glad you had a summer! Doesn't Garth Brooks or someone sing a song about that?
So what have I been doing with my time? Well it seems like all of June was taken up with mission prep and making memories...making memories by eating! We went out to lunch and dinner, I cooked his favorite meals, made dessert, went to Kneader's all you can eat french toast for breakfast... Other, skinny families I know, celebrate and make memories by going for a jog together, or hiking or biking. Not us. I've gained so much weight after losing and feeling so skinny last spring and summer! You know how, although it's only  1/3 of what you need to lose, you suddenly feel lithe and thin and slender. People on the street may say, "wow, that gal needs to lose a lot of weight", but you feel greeeat! So it's upsetting to have backslid,  But apparently not upsetting enough to stop eating! I guess I thought it would just stay off forever!! Don has started HCG again so that should help me with all of the salad, vege, meat dinners I'll be cooking. Hopefully I can get back down to my beforeschoolgotout weight before schoolgetsbackin.

Speaking of Don, we are almost empty nesters. Now I know some of you, those of you who can't wait to have the house to yourself for sex in the kitchen anytime you want, are saying right now, "Oh you're so lucky!"  But I am upset, dammit! I don't want to have sex in the kitchen. Don and I need a buffer, hell, TWO buffers. And now one of them has gone. Barry is still, kind of at home in the basement, never see him except when we need some heavy lifting done, or on his way out.

Tell me, those of you with experience, can dogs be used as a buffer? I'm serious.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

summertime and the livin' is busy!

Gee, guess you know you've been away from the blog for too long when you come back and it's all changed and you can't hardly figure out how to write a new post!

It is Summer time. I have been out of school now for 3 weeks. The first two weeks I was off were very busy.The whole fam damnly went down to Capitol Reef for 4 days (more on that in another post) then I worked in my yard non-stop, getting it ready for a couple of big whoop-de-doos.

 The first was a shower for a cute, young neighbor who finally got a baby. What does "got a baby" mean? After years of trying, treatments and waiting, they brought home a darling little boy via adoption. This scenario is close to my heart as that is the route my daughter and son in law have embarked on. They are almost finished with the classes, interviews, check-ups, background-checks and home visits that the process requires. Then their profile, with picture, will be shared with young women who have chosen to place their baby and hopefully one of them will choose Shan and Andrew.

I also had my son's Mission Farewell five days after the shower. Tyler is going to Bolivia for 2 years for our church. We had about 75 people come over after the church service, in which he spoke for 30 minutes and as he spoke I marveled at his good looks and confident manner. Really, I just kept thinking, "that is MY son! He's so neat!" haha (insert tears here)
So with these two occasions, I wanted the yard to look good.

Last year, with radiation, I wasn't out doing the Summer yard fine-tuning, like I usually do. We
 (Barry, Tyler and me) put down new mulch, painted the shed, planted hanging baskets and some new shrubs and flowers in the cleaned up flower beds and put in some bricks and pavers where needed. A lot of work! But the yard looked beautiful and the weather was nice and it was fun to be outside working with two of my favorite people.

All this activity served as a distraction, to the niggling reminder in the back of my mind, that my little buddy will be leaving me for 2 years. (here come the tears again) A weekly email and 2 phone calls per year are the only contact, as you Mormons know. But those friends of mine who are not Mo are shocked at this news, finding it rather Draconian. I've been through it twice now, with my two older sons and I will say, "thank goodness for email"! There were times, before email was allowed, that we didn't hear from Barry, in rural Mexico, for weeks. The time goes fast, they come home as men, having lived in a setting much different than home, more appreciative of the many advantages they have enjoyed. I have a very firm conviction that the areas to which they are sent, are very important in their life path. So while I am sad to think of Ty's leaving, I'm also thrilled for him to have this adventure and journey of self discovery and growth in his relationship with God and to become, more fully, himself.
So, there you have it, my summer vacation so far. Stay tuned for further updates.

Friday, May 11, 2012

A reply to my daughter's blog: "That Time I was Pregnant"

We're in the kitchen on a Saturday morning. She's stopped by on her way to her M.I.L.'s house. Chatting at the table, she suddenly holds out her arm, to show me a cotton ball held in place with some bright, stretch-tape at her elbow.

And I know.

A surge of delight almost makes its way to my face but I will it to remain blank, calm and ask

"Oh, what's that from?"

I have always pictured this moment, this moment of hearing the words I know she is about to say, as being greeted with a squeal, and tears and hugs and open whooping joy, but

"Tamp it down, Cathy" I tell myself. It's got to be very early, don't get excited, opening yourself up for hurt and yes, anger. All this passes through my head before she answers, almost shyly with a small smile

"I went to the Dr. this morning"

I smile back, a little teary, with a little laugh, our eyes locked.

"It's really early, don't say anything to anyone. But, I just had to tell you! But it's really early so..."

I hate that this has to be tempered with the meaningful "so.."  After the treatments, the late periods producing negative tests, the longing looks at other babies... a glimmer of hope, joy.

Her next appointment was good! Her numbers were climbing! I told her that I wished I could have jumped around screaming that first morning, but I thought it would make it worse if this appointment wasn't good.
"It was just a little early for the ultra-sound. I'd had the same experience with my last baby, sometimes they just can't find them til a little later, it will be fine..."

But it wasn't fine, it  just wasn't there.

So we hope for next time, hopefully the time when we can jump around in a hug, laughing, squealing and crying with happiness.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

California Get Away

Just got back from a fun little So. Cal. trip with Shannon!
While I like to revisit some of my old favorites, there are plenty of places I haven't yet visited.

I had never been to Descanso Gardens before and we both loved it! Created on a Camellia Farm, purchased from the Japanese owners for a "fair price", when they faced internment during World War II, it was just absolutely, beautiful.

Another So. Cal. favorite, Phillipe's-Home of the Original French Dip Sandwich, was also new to me. Shan and I both found ourselves "mmmming" as we ate, so good and such a unique place! French dip sandwich, pickled egg, heavenly dill pickles, homemade lemonade, coleslaw, all delicious! We loved it!

The "Best Chinese Restaurant in Monterey Park", according to several on-line sites, was indeed the best CHINESE restaurant. It was AUTHENTIC and we were the only non-Chinese in the place, which was a very large and packed restaurant. No Sweet and Sour here, oh no, we're talking jellyfish, tortoise, duck feet and an interesting complimentary, Barley dessert "soup', kind of a watery, lightly sweet, cinnamon(?) porridge...It reminded me of something a very sick person would have been fed in a Dicken's novel. Only chopsticks were provided and I did my best, which isn't saying much! Finally one of the many waiters who were standing on the sidelines, almost at attention, came over and asked, "you won fowk?" Everyone in the restaurant was eating the lovely fried, giant, prawns "in toto", just as they were prepared, heads, little legs, shell and all. I figured "when in Rome" and decided to attempt the same... I am blaming the shells for my latest bout of Diverticulitis. Anyway, Shan and I agreed that a loud outburst of laughter and conversation probably ensued once we walked out the door! I'm sure we were a comical sight., at least I was, Shan is chopstick savvy.

Speaking of Chinese Americans.Everyone knows that there is at least one donut shop every block in So. Cal. and the best donuts, in my experience, are the ones made by a Chinese cook. We, once again, turned to google to find the best donuts in our area and when we walked in and was greeted by an old Chinese guy behind the counter, Shan and I looked at each other and shared a silent, exultant, "YES!" We knew we had chosen wisely. Oh! They were good!

After visiting the Getty Villa in Malibu, we had lunch at M Cafe, an interesting place.  We were seated by the bar since we had actually missed our reservation because I took a wrong turn, necessitating 40 minutes of hairpin switchbacks through a wild Malibu canyon, (car sick, anyone?) anyway... Once we got there it was largely populated by a mix of Malibu/Hollywood Hybrids ( if I ever see one more plumped upper-lip, spray tan or insanely high wedge sandals, it will be too soon) and families with dogs and kids running around. Shan felt out of place with our conservative attire, but me... one of the gifts of getting older is, "I don't give a DAMN what they think, my money is just as green as theirs." Check out the website, it is much less "manicured" than shown, almost had a mom and pop feel to it or maybe just budget problems, but still, I liked it!
                                      It looked like this the day we were there>

So, that's it in a nutshell. So fun to spend some time with my girl, back in the land of my youth!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Spring Break! Girl Gone Wild!

Returned to school after a week of exotic travel, intellectual stimulation and...

Well, what really happened is, I didn't do much of anything for 5 days and it suited me just fine, thank-you.

 I attended the funeral of a good friend's brother. It is horrible when it takes a funeral to get the two of us together but, I was glad to be a small support to her and to be able to honor her brother and his surviving partner, of 25 years. He was listed, by first name only, as his best friend in the obituary. I am not judging those who authored the obit. I know they were doing the best they could. But it broke my heart and made me hope for the day when fear won't keep us from proudly acknowledging the caring, committed relationship of a loved one.

I had lunch with a friend who told me she had promised herself she would not be "negative" at our lunch date. I advised her, as her "therapist", that in this case negative was good. Where else can you be "negative" if not with a trusted friend? I go home feeling purged after one of my "sessions" with my "therapists". Hey, lunch is a lot cheaper than real therapy and I would guess there's also a lot more humor involved! So bitch away! Then go home with a smile on your face, knowing you aren't alone in the battle and it's possibly not as bad as it seemed before you brought it all out across the lunch table and umpteen refills of diet coke.

One early morning, I took my synthetic down comforter, and a jillion quarters, to the laundromat. Although having all the machines to yourself brings a kind of "early-bird getting the worm" sort of self satisfaction, being in a laundromat alone, in a deserted strip mall is creepy.  I thought of just going to sit in my car to wait for my load, but I LOVE that dang comforter and I guess I would risk robbery rather than have it snatched from the dryer! I was really relieved when another early bird, arms loaded with Big Load items, showed up.

Having watched 1-4 episodes per day, I can proudly say that I am caught up to Season 4 of Breaking Bad. I have become addicted to it, much like the meth heads often portrayed in the show. I just think it is genius, so well written, the characters well developed, causing me to laugh out loud one minute and to yell out, "hurry, hurry!! arghhhh!", the next. I'm hooked! The new season doesn't start til Fall! How will I survive?

Lastly, took Shannon and Barry to a hole-in-the-wall Mexican place over on the west side of town, and I mean WEST in the worst sense of the word. Or the best sense, depending on what you're looking for. You want dive, holeinthewall, go west young man! This place had four small, 4 person booths and a counter that was almost part of the tiny kitchen, seating another four. Food was served on old,finely cracked, melamine plates of the beige, slightly speckled 1960 variety. I can only wonder how many thrift stores the owners had to scour to get a set of 13. No soda machine, bottled-pop only, and plastic forks. The food was great, very authentic. Barry loved it, saying it took him right back to his Central Mexico Mission, in more ways than one. It was delicious!...and waay too much money! I guess in the novelty of the experience, I didn't notice the prices while ordering. While the food was wonderful, the service-ware and general state of the building called for a price break. I thought $9.00 (an old) plate was a bit much! But it was fun being together, feeling adventurous, so worth it. And I guess you are paying for the ambiance.

Hope you enjoyed a love filled Easter!