Thursday, January 28, 2010


I was busy cleaning up the lasagna dinner mess - and it was a mess - when Drama Queen turns towards me from where she's sitting at the computer.

"Hey, Mom. You remember my birthday, right?"

Now, I know this is an opening for something she wants to do for her birthday celebration in Fall(she starts planning almost a year in advance). But I decided to feign ignorance.

"Your birthday? You mean the last day of a 9 month pregnancy? The 6 hours of painful labor? The yearly reminder that you'll soon ditch me and never call anymore?" I wiggle my brows. "That day? Yeah, I think I remember that day. Why?"

Drama Queen rolls her eyes, but I can see the warm smile on her lips. "Oh my God, Mom. Whatever." She turns back to the computer.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


I'd like to introduce you to a honorary member of the Norris Ranch, Kitty.

Kitty has been with Super Wy almost from the beginning. As you can see, he's been through quite a number of adventures. He's a versatile creature who's played the role of hero and bad guy. He's been a copper, a robber, a baker. He's ridden the dusty trail as both a cowboy and as horse for many action heroes. He's even faced off against a monster or two. Aliens are nothing for him to handle.

Kitty is the official night protector and constant comfort. He's a shoulder to cry on when Super Wy is denied snacks or is busted breaking into the refrigerator. No one understand Super Wy like Kitty and no one can calm him down as well. Kitty can look out the car window and experience all the same new things my little man does.

I've found Kitty in the blanket chest, hallway closet, Sister's room, and in dresser drawers. I've even found the sneaky devil in the bathtub and once, behind the toilet (shudders).

Kitty's cleaning time is always distressing for my Little Super Wy and he waits anxiously for his sidekick's return. I'm sure the feeling is reciprocated. Kitty's lost his luster and shine long ago, but gained a soul instead. You can look into those small button eyes and see 3 years of a child's imagination.

Yup, this is Kitty. He's survived the assault of two dogs, two toddlers, and a crazy cat. He's lasted the tirade of an older sister and obnoxious big brothers. He's Super Wy's closest confidant and cherished treasure and we're glad to have him as part of our family.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Umbrella Parade

Stepping out of my office building, I take in a breath of cold January air and then pop open my Monet inspired umbrella. Adjusting my backpack I start the quick walk to my Suburban. Along the way I see many hospital employees coming and going under the protection of their umbrellas.

Some of the umbrellas are pretty standard and match the owner. The dignified long brown umbrella with curved wooden handle suits Mr. Executive very well and is a perfect match to his brown raincoat. The short yellow umbrella with pink and purple plaid strips is a wonderful fit for the nurse jogging towards the building in her bright pink scrubs with teddy bears in diapers.

But some are a surprise. The shy coder who always looks towards the ground holds up a bright green umbrella with wonderful splatters and swirls of blue and red. And the very conservative medical staff lady who always dresses in prim long skirts and librarian shoes is carrying a cute tan umbrella with kitty cats.

It is such a fun walk to the car, that I sit and watch the parade of umbrellas for a few moments before heading out of the parking lot. I never realized that rainy days could be a moment to glimpse into a person's hidden personality.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Deja Vu

Super Wy dances foot-to-foot at the kitchen counter. "Mom, mom. Can I have juice?"

"With dinner."

3 seconds later.

"Mom, mom. Can I have juice?"

"With dinner."

2 seconds later.

"Mom, mom. Can I have juice?"

"With dinner."

Super Wy collapses against the counter, wailing in devastation.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


Hubby and I are talking about our day as we settle in for the evening.

"Oh, I was on YouTube and I found this really cool video," Hubby says as he cruises his fishing site.

"Really?" I reply in serious reservation. You never know where it leads when the conversation starts with this least with Hubby you never know.

"Yeah. It's of this girl who does that..." He trails off here, thinking of the name.

"Homemade sugar rubs?" I ask.

He snaps his finger. "Yes. She does the homemade sugar rubs you want to try."

...Is it just me or is that conversation creepy? He could have been talking about anything and the beginning of the sentence gave NO indication of which direction his thoughts were going. And here I am picking the one of 50 million things it COULD'VE been.

I guess that's the result of a sixteen year relationship. *Shakes head*

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Stalking Prey

The wild "Big Brother" rests on the Oasis of the couch. From around the bend peeks our two hunters Holy Terror and Super Wy.

They are in fine form, wearing the camouflage of backwards pants. In solidarity, neither wears the restricting item rumored to be called a shirt.

Our more experienced hunter, Holy Terror, takes the lead with Super Wy following close behind. Creeping slowly towards the Oasis Couch the two descend on the wild "Big Brother". I can see victory glittering in their eyes.

The "Big Brother" rests, unaware of the looming danger.

Closer. Closer. Closer.


"What the heck?" growls the "Big Brother".

The hunters latch on, screaming, giggling, and yelling the success of their catch.

But wait! The "Big Brother" is a wily creature with experience and resources. He rises from the mauling, little hunters clinging to him. Super Wy around his neck. Holy Terror on his thigh. He lets lose a threat of revenge, drags himself to the open space of the Front Room Sahara, and activate his defense.

Reaching back, he grabs Super Wy by the leg and swings him around, upside down, and tosses him onto the ground. Holy Terror screeches with the awareness he is next. "Big Brother" shakes him free from his leg then attacks with the all famous tickle move.

The hunt is lost to our little warriors...but there is always next time.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Rainy Day Rest and Relaxation....

Oh wait, that's right. It's the Norris Household. Rainy days mean increased craziness and overall chaos. Here a list of important rainy day facts for the Norris Ranch:
  • Superheros are stuck in doors, which mean the bad guys and monsters have to be inside too.
  • There's MANY arguments - er, discussions - about why little boys can't play in the rain shirtless and shoeless.
  • Mommy instinct increases to detect all potential escape attempts.
  • The dogs will be TP'd, lassoed, and generally harassed more than usual.
  • Mommy hair will be tufts and wild by lunchtime.
  • Teenagers will be in full retaliation mode about the same time.
  • Older sister and brother will be targets of toddler attacks and harassment (categorized in same group as dogs by little soldier's of anarchy).
  • Parents bedroom will be broken into at least 3 times and nail polish and hairspray will end up in someones eye (usually the younger toddler as he's the weakest in the herd).
  • At least 4 minor injuries and 1 major by dinner time.
  • Bedtime will be early...for mommy's sake.

Hope you enjoyed a little glimpse of the average rainy weekend day at our house. I can laugh about it now...

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Grandma's Wisdom

I sat watching her slowly nod off to sleep. The effort of Grandma's first soft-food meal etched her face and aggravated the pneumonia. The nurse had come in and turned her, then on a comforting smile left us to be.

I'd held up during the feeding, trying to joke off the embarrassment she was clearly feeling. Born into the Great Depression, coming of age during World War II, and working her whole life on farms and in heavy manufacturing, she was a woman of pride, strength, and integrity. And here she was, needing help from her granddaughter to take a single bite.

I could tell she'd rather face of the Angel of Death...and she'd probably win.

On the other hand, I didn't feel embarrassed. Instead, I felt honored to help this woman who was an integral part of my life. The reserved love and lessons she bestowed. I refused to have a stranger, nurse or not, feed this woman who was so important to me.

But now she was falling asleep and the fear started creeping in. If not this time, this would be one visit soon. She'd said so herself in the ICU bed, chuckling at the thought and saying with it, "Just get me out of this damn hospital first."

I was having a harder time with it. My grandmother would be gone and an era of our family would be over. This woman who was a no nonsense, tell-it-like-it-is, hardcore woman.

I wanted to cry.

I watched her and slowly my mind drifted back to childhood. There, I found my memories in her converted garage, laying next to my sister on the fold-out bed. The shadows of the large room scared me, and I sat waiting for a ghost.

My grandma came in to check on us, clearly embarrassed at "being caught" in the sentimental moment. My fear prompted her to come sit by me. She rested her hand at my side.

"There's ghosts in here," I whispered.

She shrugged. "Probably."

Like I said, she is a hardcore woman who tells it like it is. I didn't quite appreciate this characteristic of her then, though.

"They scare me. I want to sleep with you." I started to take off my blanket.

"No." she stated with finality and tucked me back in. "If you don't keep quiet you'll scare THEM away."

This struck me as odd and also as a potential strategy of ridding myself of evil ghosts. But the way she'd said it caught my attention. "What?"

She went on, speaking as if it were an afterthought. "They are so lonely and scared. They have to stay in the dark all the time and never get to go outside to play. Then they see these people, still alive, and realize they aren't and it scares them. Don't you think that's sad?"

I'd never thought of that. I found myself looking in all the corners to find a sad, lonely ghost. "Maybe."

She stood and looked down at me, the light from the hall making her white hair glow. With the light behind her, her frame was a dark shadow of strong arms and shoulders. At that moment, I knew she'd tell me straight and that she'd protect me if there were something evil in the room.

I remember that sly way she smiled. It was like a warrior at rest but also like a wise woman parting a long held secret. "Well, let's keep very quiet and lay here to sleep. That way you won't scare them off and they won't be lonely."

I nodded and she leaned down and kissed my cheek.

My mind back in the ICU room I sat and smiled. She was always great at being realistic but also getting you to rise above your fears.

Yup, whether she had to kick your butt to do it, or tell you a slick story.

Man, I love this woman and no matter what happens, when, she won't be scared. Grandma will be kicking down the pearly gates and insisting God and all the angels clean up their rooms. Then she'll have a serious talk about how things are running and how they should run.

If you find me laughing when that time does come, Grandma, don't take it personal. It's not at you, it's with you.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Man Pretty

Hubby and I sat talking about our day and halfway through he remembered a forgotten story. Now, for anyone who knows Ash, he seems to run into some crazy situations. He's like a beacon for weirdness. I adjusted my position and got ready to hear anything from a de-scalped accident victim to a spotted dance rendition of Micheal Jackson's "Beat It".

"I headed off to work and pulled into Carl's Junior for a burger beforehand. My lips had been chapped for days due to fishing and the weather. I remembered that I'd seen your tube of chapstick in the console. Popping the cap off, I pulled up to the speaker and lathered it on while I gave my order. After, I put the cap back on and rolled forward in line towards the window."

Experience in our sixteen-year relationship kept me from saying "so what" at this point. Whereas I am a story-writer, Ash is a storyteller. To be a storyteller you have to set more of the scene and back story a bit.

"I lit a cigarette and checked how much I'd put on in the mirror because you say I put on too much."

He tosses me a chagrined looked, whereas I pass back a "well you do" look. We decide to let THAT bicker - er, discussion - go for now. He gestures towards his lips.

"And damn if they didn't look smooth and immaculate. They were real man pretty, like a magic potion. That stuff worked hella good! I continued to creep towards the window, eyeing my lips in the mirror. Something nagged at me. They looked too pretty!"

I'm starting to see where this story is heading and already building up to a snorting laugh...partly because the lip praise he's giving himself.

"By this time I reached the window. I paid for the burger and rolled into a parking spot to eat. Taking a napkin, I wiped off some of the excess chapstick and pink shade came off onto it. I proceeded to read the chapstick container and realized it was rose-tinted lip gloss."

(enter West Side Story music in my head)...sometimes I feel pretty, so pretty...

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Gorrilla's Belly Button

Super Wy comes down the hall and into the front room, walking like a gorilla. He stomps over to me and does a fantastic toddler version of a gorilla bellow.

"Wow!" I look wide-eyed and impressed.

"We need to go back to the zoo. Gorilla sad!" he says to me in his serious deep tone.

"We'll have to tell Daddy right away," I say.

"Yeah. Gorillas use their belly buttons to be louder!" He pounds his fist on his belly and repeats his loud gorilla holler.

I try really hard not to laugh and nod. "Okay. I didn't know that. I always wondered what belly buttons were for."

He nods in a very macho manner and stomps off to scare the dogs.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A Friends Pain

A good friend of mine just found out her sister has metastatic breast cancer in the bones. My heart broke as I read those words and the emotions behind them. I’m a family member who suffered the loss of someone from a form of metastatic cancer. The grief is inexpressible. There is no encouragement, consoling, or action adequate enough.

All the memories from the past flood in and sharpen the clenching hurt inside you. The smallest weaves of your relationship with them become beacons of awareness throughout your day. The small three-minute calls, the nit-picky disagreements, the hugs and loving gestures that in a normal day wouldn’t have given you a second thought. Now it all is so important and hold so much meaning. The minuscule layers all those small traits and actions make up a thick and important part of your life.

The strength and loyalty of my friend is amazing. The next several months will be a test of that strength. As her friend I wish so much to be by her side but the physical distance is too great for that. Instead, I hope she knows and feels the endless emotional and spiritual support from my family and me.

I love you, sweetie and will be here whenever you need me. Call whenever, email as needed. I’ll be there for you. We will be thinking of you constantly and love you all.