2006 - A Year in Review - with pictures!

Yes, I did indeed steal this idea from my dear friend KathyHowe (say it like it's just one word). But that's because she is brilliant and when I read through her list I thought to myself, "That is a great idea, if for no other reason than to have my year chronicled in one place because my memory is not so great and this way? This way I can go back and remember when things happened easily because it will be all there for me in one concise and easy to find list."

So I wrote it all out. By hand. By going through my archives. And then I put it all back in here too. So I now have it documented. Because it is important to me. If nobody else reads it, it really doesn't matter to me. But to those of you who might pop by tomorrow (because you won't tonight - you're all out there having a life and not snowed in or stuck home with a migraine), Happy New Year. Smooches. The friends I have made through this blog mean a lot to me. You know who you are. Yes you.

My year in review... (not as condensed as yours was Zoofy, but that's okay... I don't really expect anyone but me to read it.) :)

This was the month when I attended a girls’ night out with fellow HHS grads. I haven’t seen some of them in nearly 20 years. Woohoo…
And January had the first loss of the year taking a family friend who had been battling cancer.

There was a gathering of Divas… my very first internet friends, the ones who have become my sisters.
I earned a new nickname in February.
My lovely daughter shaved her head for cancer.
and was accepted to her number one choice of colleges…
and I learned that my Aunt Dot was diagnosed with some serious cancer.
Diva B visited me at the coffee shop.

March was the month I spent many hours in doctor waiting rooms with Kel as she went to appointments in an attempt to get answers to her mysterious illness. We still have no clear idea of what was wrong. She gets fevers on occasion that lock her spine. She has low iron. She can be anemic.
March was the month of girls’ night out with Mystical Marge and Kazoofus!
Her favorite photo of the two of us? Definitely mine as well.
And a family friend went in for breast cancer surgery.
And a cancer blogger was lost. :(
Oh yeah. I also moved. Photo found here. :)

Attended (and became part of) the interactive dinner theater for which Keli was the stage manager. Watched more and more of her artwork appear on the walls of her high school and saw it in an exhibition at a gallery in town. Saw her off to her final high school prom. Watched her going through many of her “final” events of high school. Stress was high, but she couldn’t have been happier.
Discovered I was allergic to latex and my signature wrist full of bracelets in honor or in memory of had to come off.
Got DSL! Woohoo!
House showing and offer came quickly this month.

I did some serious mileage this month working up toward the Relay.
Went to a party in the country where much laughter occurred and where I met a dog that really liked to play fetch. A lot. I’ve adopted her as my own.
My papa celebrated his 75th birthday.
And we had our annual Relay For Life garage sale
I also learned this month that a fellow HHS raider has had a serious recurrence of her cancer and is in a true battle.
And at the end of the month, my buddy Kazoofus came to see me and had some things of her own to say about the evening.

There were basically three big events in June.

  1. Kel graduated and
  2. there was a terrific grad party for her (thanks you guys!)
  3. And then there was the Relay.
PLUS! I started tap dancing lessons. AND! Saw Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers in concert. Can’t forget those.

In July I learned a very valuable lesson about water in the easy mac noodles before trying to cook it in the microwave (and a valuable lesson about my cooking disabilities as well).
Saw CSNY in concert. Wow.
Bought and constructed the wonderful IKEA shelves. I heart them.
Blogathon took place. And you all rocked at supporting my efforts.
I lost an Uncle in July.
A certain blue-haired teen joined tap classes in July. :)

There was the great family reunion in da UP in August in which I learned of the Italy family reunion being planned for 2008. I'm so there. If I have to sell my soul to get there, I'll be there.
Keli lost her great-grandpa.
I lost another Uncle and an Aunt. (have I mentioned that 2006 will go down as the year of funerals?)
I attended a girls’ night out with Kathy and CursingMama.
I learned that Kel’s HS principal has entered into battle with breast cancer.

September found me sending my kiddo off to college and moving in to her first apartment.
I traveled east for a change and attended the Celebration on the Hill with 10,000 other advocates looking for a cure for cancer and looking to our leaders to keep supporting the research for that cure. DC was a blast. Next time I want to go there and have some time to really get out and look around. And not have a migraine while I’m there.

There was girls’ night at Kathy’s in October!
And I lost a cousin. :(
I went to the Dells and acted as on Online Fundraising facilitator for the ACS at their state Leadership Summit. And had a little fun there, too. :)
I got my MacBook.
I renewed my knowledge about that latex allergy. So it wasn’t a fluke. I cannot wear the bracelets.
I took a roadtrip with Mystical Marge to Mineral Point, Wisconsin, and Galeena, Ill.

Wrote a novel in November.
Went to an extreme party with other RFL Committee members.
Did some blogging and other promotion about Great American Smoke Out.

Holidays and truffling and lunch with CursingMama and Zoofy wrap up the year. It was a quiet month on the funeral front. sigh

I am certain I shared far more than anyone else cared about. But that's okay. This was more of a yearly wrap up for MY benefit than anyone else's.

So for you skimmers who actually did drop down this far, what was a significant highlight of your 2006?

And Happy New Year. :)


It's time once again...

to play the "Ten Word Meme!" You may remember some of us playing this last year. I found it as I have been perusing the posts in an effort to create my own recap of my 2006 for the year end and thought it was time to do it again. So I closed my eyes and dropped something on the keyboard to pick a letter for the game and here we go...
This how it works: I told you how I got my letter... "F". I'll write ten words and include a brief description of why I chose each word. If you would like to play along, say so in the comments and I'll give you a letter to post to your blog. Last year I got the game from Kathy.

  1. Farkel: if you've read for very long around here, you've heard this mentioned once or twice. I picked up a little knowledge of the game from friend Sir William and his lovely gang of farkelers. And I've done what I can to pass the knowledge along.
  2. Friends: being an introvert I do not have these in high numbers, but I deeply appreciate the ones that I do have.
  3. Fiction: this goes for books and movies and the stuff that I write, too. It's an important player in my life, yo.
  4. Family: is there a family out there that is perfect? is there one out there with excellent communication skills? I have yet to meet one. Regardless, family can provide wonderful support where it is needed. Mine has for me. I could do the same. I'm not as stoic as some. ;)
  5. FUN! One of the most important things in life so you don't have frown lines wrinkling up your face.
  6. Futon: A major piece of furniture in our home.
  7. Food: Can you say take out, frozen, or delivery service? And no, my refrigerator still doesn't look any better than it did in those photos. You wanna make something of it? Refrigerators are for making drinks cold, having an ice maker, and keeping all of those boxes of frozen food. I love the fact that Target has a frozen food aisle and milk now. I basically never have to go to the grocery store.
  8. Fish! The latest addition to our family is Keli's pet fish, Brother Fuselage. He is a bubble-eyed deep blue goldfish and he makes me smile.
  9. funeral: there were a lot of them in 2006. I expect to have put them behind me for a time. 2007 is the year of LIFE.
  10. five-hundred miles: The time has come to begin again.

Who wants to play???

What the best dressed coffees are wearing this year...

It's a sherpa jacket for my macchiato. I said it would take less than five minutes to get laughed out of the Mighty Dunn. But Wes wasn't here tonight. ;)

So far, so good.

In my head: Kaboom! by Ursula 1000


Papa Elf...

They set the hat upon his head and he was transformed... Don't know how many of you have seen the movie Elf. But most in my family (dare I say all?) have seen it at least once if not many times and as we gazed upon the patriarch we all decided he certainly had a bit of the Bob Newhart character hanging about him as he sat in his chair Christmas Eve... well, minus the tights. Although he certainly has the gams for it. ;)

In my head: Santa Baby as sung by the lovely and talented Zooey Deschanel in the movie Elf.


Photos of Christmas past...

Whatdya think? Do I look like anonybro???

In my head: Winter from Tori Amos


I've been tagged...

My friend Robert's blog muse has returned... he is starting out light and that's okay with me. Just so he's back. Glad to hear it, Robert. He has done a Christmas meme and tagged me with it. I can't hardly ignore it, right? I mean I was over there pestering him to get writing again, and now that he has I have to pay attention. *waves at Robert* So here are my own answers to Robert's tag.

I want...

Snow for Christmas. (I admit it. I stole this from Robert. But Keli really wants a white Christmas and I have a feeling there are a lot of other people who do, too. Like the people who make a lot of their money during the winter plowing the snow. And those who make a bit of their cash off snowmobile sales up here. etc. As for me? Well if you've been reading around here for very long, you'll know that I should be in New Mexico for the winter by now.)

Peace in the Middle East and an end to the genocide in Darfur. (just the little things...)

How obvious is it that I want to end cancer? I don't know that I even need to mention this one since it is so obvious. So instead I'll say more time to read my stack of unread books that are piling up.

What I don't want...

Another year filled with funerals.

Continued deaths of troops and civilians over oil. Bring them home.

Injuries to curtail the walking/running I intend to start in earnest this week.

Now, to pass the meme along, the man has never done one that I know of, so I figure this meme will stop with him, but Christmas is practically upon us, so that will be okay if it does. Or maybe in the spirit of the season he'll surprise us. The snowball is in your court, Mark.

In my head: White Christmas is playing on the loudspeaker here and Bing's got just that perfect voice for it, doesn't he?

Gnomic? huh. I never knew.

Stolen from that sweet little CursingMama.

My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
Countess Keri the Gnomic of Old Tonbridge Wafers
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title

I hope you all have a truly wonderful holiday this weekend and enjoy your friends and your families and enjoy the spirit of giving that is most important at this time of year. Don't just pass those bell ringers by with your eyes down. Stop. Put a dollar or two or five in their bucket. Look them in the eye and wish them happy holidays and thank them for their efforts.

Get more excess for Christmas than you could ever need? Thank your givers for their thoughtfulness. And box it up and pass it on to those who truly do have a need for it. Because believe me they are out there.

We are a pretty glutinous society. What do you really need? What have you really got?

In my head: Mrs. Jesus from Tori Amos (have a listen to this fabulous woman. What a voice...)


First post in the new blogger world...

and I'm really worried about the whole comment thing.

Because CursingMama told me about the problem with comments after upgrading to the "New and Improved" blogger about which we free blog users cannot complain too loudly, eh? But how about us haloscan users who were originally paid subscribers and who have thousands of comments out there and want those comments still associated with the blog?

Well. Here goes nothing.

In my head: You Make Me Feel So Young by Frank Sinatra... Tap class anyone?


Tagged by Katie...

Yeah, I had to give you her face, too. Because she is so lovely.

Lovely Katie

1. Take the nearest book and go to page 123.
2. Go to the fifth sentence of the page.
3. Copy down the next three sentences and tag three people.

Alan now knows that his narcissistic father needed him to replace the father's dead brother, a man whose paintings covered the walls of Alan's childhood home. It was only later in the interview that I heard Alan's resentment at being used to replace a dead family member. Before he expressed his feelings about being used, Alan had to maintain his assigned role as stand-in artist/genius.

I tag Heather, Keli (who I will not link to unless we hear back from her that she wants us to and until then, she can do this in the comments), and Ken.

In my head: So Says I from The Shins


a few little photos...

Extreme Home Makeover watch party with a fellow Relay Committee and da kids...
Because I'm too lame to do any real writing tonight... (hmmm, is NaNo still stunting my creative process? HA!!!) I'll give you some snapshots of life lately...

Remember my telling you to watch Extreme Home Makeover a while back? Well here is the photo from the little watch party I attended. Thanks again RF committee group that invited the surrounding areas!

she who becomes more beautiful every day And since I haven't thrown in a gratuitous kid photo lately...

I'd take a photo of the Christmas tree, but I think it would blind you with all of the glitter and glitz. I understand it is a wee bit overdone. heh. I learned from the best. It has plenty-o-ornamentation. Every one. Nothing is missing. They are all there. Every memorable one. Right down to the very first one I remember helping to pick out when I was a wee tot back in 1969 - a red velvet dressed little drummer boy. Photos of this dear thing to come. Gotta see him to believe it. Now I'm hearing the boy's song in my head. It used to be my favorite. And now we're tap dancing a little rif to the tune. And when I'm in the coffee shop and the song comes on? My feet won't stop practicing it.

pada dum pum pum
pada dum pum pum
pada dum pada dum pada dum pum pum. :)

Perhaps tomorrow I'll photograph the other tree. In a house this size you have to have more than one you know.

So yeah. More photos to come. Because I'm all about turning this into a photo blog so that during these long gaps of silence I can still fill your mind with how witty and wonderful things are around here.

And keep you coming back for more. Looking forward to filling your world with truffles, CursingMama. See you next week. Let's see what we can do about dragging some KathyHowe into this lunch plan. Because you just can't do enough extra planning around the holidays.

In my head: Breakdown by Tom Petty


Not a word about the mini-me in the kitchen.

Keep in mind... I can make truffles.

And on that note... I'm outta here.

In my head: Mr. Wonderful Great song. Inspired by words from a young woman I know.


Merry Meme Christmas...

Don't even remember from whom I stole this several days ago but now I see that everybody is doing it. So take your pick...

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Seeing as how I've never even tasted the nog, I guess hot chocolate...

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? He varies his approach. Historically, when I was just a tot, he set them under the tree and around the room where the tree sat for my brothers and I to gaze in awestruck wonderment upon... but then my daughter came along and other people's traditions entered into the mix and that jolly old red suited fat guy started wrapping everything! Even the stuff he stuffed in the stockings! What a pain in the a$$.

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? White. But I'm not allowed to decorate anything outside my house. So that would be white lights on just the tree this year, thankyouverymuch. I'm simply a renter.

4. Do you hang mistletoe? Nope. Kisses? Yuck. That's just inviting all sorts of wintery germ-infestations of the nastiest kind. Go wash your lips and use the listerine while you're in there, will you please? There are disposable tongue-scrapers in the second drawer down...

5. When do you put your decorations up? Just did. Well, just got the tree up and spent the entire day doing it. Had some friends here to help Kel and I do it.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? Where Kel and I are concerned there really is no such thing as dessert. This is a main course for us several times a week. So... hmmm. Since my mom is of Italian origins ;) we frequently throw some great Italian food into our holiday and other celebratory meal occasions. So I'm going to say that my favorite holiday dish is manicotti because it's been a while since I've had it and maybe this will trigger a festive making of it for Christmas this year! :)

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child: Lying on my back under the tree looking up into the lights singing along with the "Sing Along With Mitch" Miller record Christmas Carols with my brothers.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? No clue. I would guess my brothers tormented me with the real story. (That's right, tormented, anonybro ... I was such an abused child... ;) ) Or I discovered it following one of them around as he searched the house looking for all of the hidden Christmas gifts when the parents were away.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? At least one.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree? First it is wrapped top down with white lights and not just on the ends of the branches, the lights are wrapped on the individual branches starting at the trunk and winding out to give the tree 'depth' just like Martha taught me many years ago... ;) then we put on all our ornaments that we've been collecting through the years (we buy a yearly ornament - at least one - that has special meaning from travels or something we've been doing) and homemade ones that Kel created when she was young, including a paper star with glitter and glue at the top. After that it is draped with clear pearl garland strands and this year I also added some foil star garland. This week I'll pick up some candy canes and we'll put those on too. That will finish it off I think. I learned a new term this holiday season from C that may stick with me forever (well, at least another couple of weeks), "Man-proof tree." :)

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it? Love to look at it, hate to drive in it or the fact that it represents that "B" word - Big-a$$ cold.

12. Can you ice skate? Once every 15 years or so. I'm good now for the next ten at least.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? yep, because of how shocking it was. The surprise is always the best part of any gift.

14. What's the most important thing about the Holidays for you? survival skills this year.

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? This year it just might be rocky road truffles. Barring that, my dad's rosettes.

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Drinking beer with the relies. Um. We don't really have traditions in our family. Oh wait. That was left from whoever I copied this from. HA! But isn't it lovely? KIDDING! Definitely watching It's a Wonderful Life with favorite people or whoever I can convince to watch it with me.

17. What tops your tree? White paper start with gold glitter glued on. Keli made it many years ago at Margie's house (her daycare pre-kindergarten).

18. Which do you prefer giving or receiving? Giving. By far. It's the best part of the holiday.

19. What is your favorite Christmas Song? O Holy Night. There are many versions that I like, I haven't found my definitive favorite yet. That one is tied with This Christmas because of the years we went to see Peabo Bryson's Colors of Christmas show at The Ordway. What fun!!!

In my head: This Christmas by James Ingram



Go read this.


It is most important to me.

Pay attention. Do what you can. Please.

Rick talks about the benefit on Youtube.

In my head: Shock and sadness.


Get on the bus... please.

The Rick Springfield Concert to Benefit Sahara Aldridge is coming up. SOON!

How many people can we help get on that bus to help Sahara defray the cost of her medical expenses? Come on. You don't recognize Sahara's name? I've mentioned her before. But if you need a refresher, head over to my archives here and have a read. Or head over to Sahara's site and learn about her battle against a GBM tumor. Yep, a brain tumor is the same thing that got me out here raising funds because it is what they finally found was causing Keith's symptoms back in 2001.

So now to get back to the whole bus discussion, Michael Manning, that guy with the really big heart who wants to do something amazing to help this little girl pay some of the cost of her battle, has put together a fun trip on a luxury tour bus out of his home town of Cincinnati leaving the morning of the big concert and ... well, why don't you just go read all about his efforts on his website. I'm linking up the posts where he has described how to get on board so you too, can be a part of this big event and not miss out on all of the fun!

When you get to Sahara's site, people, you're going to see that this isn't fun and games. Sahara's tumor has stopped shrinking from her treatments. The tumor has begun to grow again. She really needs this concert to be a whopping success for many reasons. Help Michael make it huge for her. Help Rick make it the best concert ever. Get on the bus for Sahara if you can. If you can't? Just get to the concert. Or send a contribution directly.

To help Sahara's family with her medical expenses, donations may be sent to:
US Bank
Sahara HOOPS Aldridge
"Slam Dunk" Cancer Fund
325 N. Kingshighway
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701
Donations are NOT tax deductible. If you prefer to make a tax deductible donation, or volunteer in Sahara's honor, please check out the links to Ronald McDonald House or MD Anderson Cancer Center.

My readers rock in ways that I cannot describe. (Even to musicians as completely awesome as Rick Springfield! Have I mentioned that Rick was the first musician I saw in concert ever? Minnesota State Fair with my girlfriends and it was so cool!) I know you will help out however you can. Look at that face. Isn't she beautiful?

Step by step instructions on getting in on all the fun!

Details on the bus, the accomodations, the concert...

In my head: Quiet prayers for Sahara


Oh yeah...

Stolen from CursingMama, cuz I love Edward Gorey.

What horrible Edward Gorey Death will you die?

You will be sucked dry by a leech. I'd stay away from swimming holes, and stick to good old cement. Even if it does hurt like hell when your toe scrapes the bottom.
Take this quiz!


Thanks for the cheerleading... :)

The coffee is what put me over the edge. Seriously. That and Keli jumping around here like a little chicken with her ... never mind. Thanks for the use of the corn bag for my feet, Kel. Your support tonight was very helpful. :) We can watch that movie now if you want.

No Chicago tomorrow. Vicki is in the UP taking care of Bud. Smooches to you both. :(

Iki is passing her cookies on to others. *sigh* No cookies for me. That's quite alright, though. Seriously. Needing no cookies here. No roadtrip with Zoofy in the morning. Sometime soon. No Jenorama this weekend. Oh well. Soon. Seriously. We will do this thing. I'm looking forward to seeing each of you. Vicki, your invitation was so appreciated. I know I'll be down there soon. With or without the rest of them.

In my head: About a Boy Soundtrack from Badly Drawn Boy