Monthly Archives: November 2011

When we told our kids about my upcoming surgery

Because we’ve been hearing about different stories regarding my health flying around our children’s school, we decided to go ahead and tell them what I was having done on December 1st.  We had planned to wait until after Thanksgiving but were starting to get concerned that they might learn it from someone else first.  Totally uncool.

So, I decided to let my husband take the reins and do the explaining while I sat nearby in the room wearing a pleasant smile all the while.  My mom was there, too, and we both thought my husband did a great job laying it all out for them.  If anything, his vocal inflection almost sounded like he was telling a fairy tale so you couldn’t help but listen and feel comforted by his words.  My kids seemed to focus on everything pretty intently and the first comments we got were from my daughter.  When she heard that my chest x-ray revealed that something was inside of me, she jumped to her feet excitedly and shouted, “A baby? You have a baby in your stomach?!!?”

Sigh.  Not really the reaction I was expecting.  And it took a few minutes for us to convince her that there was no way that a baby had crawled from my abdomen to the top of my chest cavity, which was her explanation as well as her desperate hope.  My son didn’t say much and the topic of discussion quickly changed to his NFL Fantasy Football team and her TV preferences for the night.

I was a little surprised they weren’t a bit more shaken … but then I mentally slapped myself across the face and realized how lucky I was that they were so relaxed about the whole thing. I took the ‘good mom’ high ground and decided to enjoy the calm of my happy family. Until later that night …

Everyone had stepped out except my daughter and I who were busily readying her for bed when she said, out of the blue, “Mommy, I don’t want you to think that I don’t care since I’m not acting sad.  I’m just trying not to think about it.”  I sat on the bed with her and gave her a big hug and told her she had nothing to worry about … but she insisted, “I’m afraid surgery is going to hurt you.  Isn’t it going to hurt?” I explained that I would be asleep and wouldn’t feel a thing.  (No. Of course, I didn’t mention the aftermath.)  And then she added, nervously, “When my friend’s mom had surgery, she caught cancer.  And I don’t want you to catch cancer, too.”

You just never know what your little people are thinking until you finally get it out of them.  My poor girl.  I was so happy to be able to tell her that you can’t catch cancer.  And that her friend’s mom already had cancer and that the surgery had cured her.  Finally smiling, she hugged me back and promised to share any other concerns she had about me with us so we could help her.

The subject didn’t come up again with my son until last night, after we returned home from our Thanksgiving festivities. My daughter stayed over at my parents’ house last night so my husband and I had our boy to ourselves for a change.  Later in the evening, he and I were hanging out watching TV together when he suddenly turned to me and asked, “Mom, do you have cancer?”

Blindsided for the umpteenth time this week, I simply and instinctively answered “No” and doled out the hugs again.  Has he been working up the nerve to ask me this question for a week now?  And does he even really understand what cancer means?

God, I love those kids. Everyone’s been asking what they can do for me … because you’re all awesome, by the way … and here’s my answer. Help me keep this week (and this holiday season, for that matter) as completely normal for them as possible.  And maybe say a little prayer for them that their fears be quelled and nerves settled.

Me? I will be fine.  I promised both of my kids so I have to do it now.



Just indulge me with ONE more day of Naked Mole Rat blogging

I thought I was done with Naked Mole Rats with yesterday’s post but clearly I had just opened the door to today’s addiction. So, in an effort to avoid Black Friday shopping and appear busy at my house, I embarked on a quest to learn all things Naked Mole Rat. And then to tweet every little factoid I could find to the mostly never-met-me-before strangers who foolishly elected to ‘follow’ me on Twitter. Poor, unsuspecting tweeters … twitterers … nerds … whatever we’re calling ourselves these days.

(Oh, yeah. And I attached a picture to nearly every tweet – always one of the two from yesterday’s post, unless I included a different one here.)

So, here are today’s Naked Mole Rat tweets … in chronological order:

I plan to use this yucky fella in several tweets today until he scores us some retweets. Think he’s up to the task?

He & Mr. Bigglesworth could co-star in the new nauseating version of ‘Tom & Jerry.’

Naked Mole Rats – It’s like holding a warm ziploc of tiny bones.

The only two food sources I find for Naked Mole Rats are tubers & their own feces. As if their lives weren’t sad enough.

Throngs of shoppers are out killing themselves for Black Friday. I’m home googling facts about Naked Mole Rats. I ask you – Who’s the idiot?

Eating feces not enough? Naked Mole Rats also ‘wear’ it as a means of identifying other members of the same colony.

I think HUMAN gangs should be required to adhere to the same ritual.

WAY boring until 1:30 when it shifts gears to play the most AWESOME Naked Mole Rat anthem you’ve ever heard. (This video can be found at the end of this post.)

Everyone’s tweeting about Naked Mole Rats with ODNT. Don’t you think that’s some information I would like to know? I like Naked Mole Rats.

This is Eric’s pet & the MAIN reason he gave Bill the creeps. Still, they both got invited to the taco party.

As promised, the youtube video with the Naked Mole Rat Anthem is below. Please remember that this catchy blues tune doesn’t begin until 1:30. The content before that will very likely lull you into a coma. Also, don’t blame me if you suddenly find yourselves singing this haunting melody in the shower, the car or even on the job. Personally, I’m saving it for my daughter’s wedding dance. If she were marrying today at age 9, she’d completely agree. We’ll see what happens in the future. Crossing fingers …

Okay. I think I am finally done with these icky little guys.

Thanks for listening while I got it all out of my system.




Today, I am thankful for my mom AND that I wasn’t born as this comically disgusting little creature

Happy Thanksgiving, ODNT citizens. I can think of nothing more appropriate for today’s blog post than this motivational message recently shared with me by my mother. She, along with all of my family and friends, is just trying to keep me calm and happy (a 24/7/365 feat as it is) in the days leading up to my surgery. Enter this curiously funny little message. Sure, it’s probably a viral email that some of you might have already seen … but I have not … so it’s what I’m serving up today.

This little creature hails from North Africa and is called the Naked Mole Rat. (Seriously, click the link. I’d love to include an actual image but there are mean people waiting to sue my pants off for using their pictures.) And as the saying goes, … just remember, whenever you’re having a bad day and feeling down about life, you could look like a wrinkly old penis with buck teeth.

Message received, my stomach-turning little friend. Message received.

really hope there aren’t any naked mole rats reading this post. God, I would feel like such a jerk.


At least it won’t be MY house that has turkey bits falling between the counter and the stove this year

In seventeen years, I have only missed hosting Thanksgiving three times:

(1) 1999 – My son was born just a few weeks earlier and no one in my sleepless household was up to the task.

(2) 2005 – Two words. Hurricane Katrina. No home = no hosting space.

(3) 2006 – Still Katrina. That bitch meant business and kept us down for a while.

I love hosting Thanksgiving. It actually might be my favorite holiday … for the same reason that the rehearsal dinner is my favorite part of a wedding and Thursday was my favorite day of the week when I worked in a traditional office setting. These things all serve as the gateway to the main event. They are the proverbial firing of the starter’s pistol at the beginning of the race. That exciting overture is always my favorite point in time for most anything.

So, it was with heavy (well, let’s be honest … heavy-ish) heart that I relinquished the reins of a fourth Thanksgiving. To my wonderful parents, of course. Who were more than happy to help me and take hold of the hosting duties, which they don’t have as often as they’d like. (That last part really probably only pertains to my mom.)

I know my husband also really likes hosting for the holidays … so we’re at our own home. (Sorry, D.) And we like watching … or at least peripherally experiencing in the background … the whole Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. It’s a tradition I’ve observed since I was very young. I love watching the Broadway performances, seeing the gargantuan character balloons (especially the vintage ones) and even listening to the cheesy banter between the hosts. And tomorrow is no exception. I don’t want to miss New Orleans’ own 610 Stompers. I’m proud to call several of these goofy male dance teamers my friends and can’t wait to see the show. I better not miss it since I’m changing locations this year.

Stupid lung mass. (cough, sputter) I mean … Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!


Laugh and the world laughs with you (even when some might deem it inappropriate)

I have a lot of goofball friends … and they’re really helping me get through the waiting and ‘bang my head against the wallness’ of everything. Here I share with you some of the nuttier emails, texts, Facebook messages, blog comments, etc. that I’ve received during the last week:
  • That morning is really going to suck. I feel for you. Definitely sleep in your clothes and a pony tail and have gum ready in the morning.
  • Go Xanax!!!!! All spazzing justified!
  • Where is the surgery? How long is the surgery? Do you have to stay in the hospital long? Does your mother play the tuba?
  • Well, that stinks. How about lunch tomorrow to take your mind off things? Or a movie? Or a roll of cookie dough w/2 spoons?
  • I prayed for you last night.  After I reminded The Big Guy who I was (I had to give him my SSN and my DOB), we had some good dialogue.
  • It seems like most of the time when boobs and health are joined together in a sentence, the loss of boobs are the outcome.   Some people out there have dogs that detect illness. You have super boobs to aide in the detection of potential illness.
  • If you want to scream or sing, be happy or sad or just shoot the shit, all you have to do is call!
  • Your boobs totally saved your life. They deserve a spa day.
  • Obviously, these boobs are a blessing so after you get past this scare, you will have to get them for sure. May this pass quickly and benignly into your blog posting history.
  • Well, that sounds kind of scary. Do you recall ever inhaling a jawbreaker and getting it stuck in your pleura? Or a ping pong ball? Sorry, that’s absurd. Why would anyone inhale a ping pong ball?
  • Shit. I’m thinking about you. And text me if you really want Valium. I know people.
And, of course, I’ve had scores of more serious messages offering everything from prayers and childcare to excessively cheesy, meatless lasagna (made to order!) and long distance cookies. It all counts.  It all helps. And it all will not soon be forgotten.


You may not know it but ODNT has some friends in high places

I want to express my sincerest thanks to an old friend who did a very special thing for me tonight. If you have a minute, please check out King Cake Baby on Facebook at He’s Lilliputian in size but not in fame and, obviously, heart.

Here’s his special message he sent out to me today. Made me feel like a rock star.


Thanks, KCB. I’ll be fine and eating king cake with you popping out of it naked again in no time. Only in New Orleans …


From junkyard cow clocks to lung masses – everything deserves a name

I knew the second I hit ‘publish’ last night that closing out the post with a reference to my cow clock made of spoons and then not including a picture of it was a colossal mistake.  Of epic proportions.  What was I thinking?  

So, here he is, in all his recycled bovine splendor.  We picked him up on vacation from a little gallery in Skagway, Alaska. We took one look at him and knew we had to have him.  The spoon parts always get top billing in our description of his composition, but he also boasts a bread pan, a mason jar lid and various other nuts and bolts in his design.  We named him ‘Cowie.’  We are a simple people who tend to name most things in our household … including kitchen knives, scrap metal squirrel-rats and Magnolia trees in the front yard.


Which reminds me …  my sister-in-law thinks I should name the lung mass.  I feel it is male but am open to female names and gender-neutral suggestions as well.  Pop culture references, relevant homages and pithy puns are all welcome.  Let’s name the damned thing as we’ll be getting to know him/her/it pretty well in the next few weeks.  Please submit your ideas below.

Oh, and if you’ve never commented on the blog before … Geez, register yourself already and throw your idea in the ring.  What’s keeping you?


Wanna keep abreast of all new ODNT postings? Like me on Facebook. Follow me on Twitter.