Friday, January 4, 2008

Dumb Girl

This is a repost of a repost... Because....

Because 3 years ago today, my family lost someone very special, and I lost a good friend...

Because even 3 years later, it sometimes feels like it just happened.

And because I miss her even more now than I did then. So please indulge me, and read about her again....

My favorite cousin died this past January.

Even though nearly 10 months have passed, I still have days that nearly knock me flat. Today was one of those days, so I’ve decided to tell you about her.

A few days after the New Year, my mom called.

Mom: “Honey, I just talked to your Uncle B, and it’s not good news.

Me: “It’s FC, isn’t it?”

Mom: “Yes, it’s FC”.

Me: “She killed herself didn’t she?”

Mom: “Yes…… she did.”

I don’t know how I knew that she was calling about FC, or how I knew she’d killed herself. FC had had issues in the past, but she seemed to be doing better the month or so leading up to her death. Still, when Mom called…. I knew.

She had always been my favorite cousin. When we’d go on trips to visit the family, FC would always entertain us. I know my grandmother slipped her money to take my brother and I bowling, and to movies, but she always had as much fun as we did, and she never made us feel like she was being paid to hang out with us.

She had an amazing sense of humor, and even as adults, whenever we’d all get together we’d laugh until our sides hurt. We were an odd group of female cousins, and our favorite term of endearment for each other was “dumb girl”.

She was an amazing athlete, as well. She played softball, tennis, and practically lived to golf. She had a zest for life and an enthusiasm that was contagious.

FC and her 4 siblings came from a family more dysfunctional than most. Her mom was an alcoholic and her father worked long hours to avoid the situation, so our grandmother did most of the parenting. FC had had issues with drugs and alcohol herself in the past, but she got clean, went to college, and even went on to get her Masters Degree.

Then things started to change….

First our grandmother died. She was the glue that held the family together…. The heart and soul of us all. Almost 2 years later my aunt…. FC’s mom… passed away as well. She had been sober for the past several years of her life, but her body was just so devastated by years of abusing alcohol that it couldn’t recover from a routine operation she had to have. She never came out of the anesthesia.

It was hell for everyone, but it hit FC the hardest. She was never the same after that. Everyone tried to get her help, but she didn’t want help… “I don’t need help”, she said.

Finally, her partner of several years couldn’t take it any more and left FC. No one blamed her. But it was the final straw for FC. She couldn’t hold a job, so she moved in with one of her sisters. We were always worried about her, and wondered if the FC we knew would ever be back.

Looking back, I know that this was a sign the end was coming… but a month or so before her death, the old FC started reappearing. She'd even moved out on her own again. My last memory of her was a telephone conversation we had about some of the Danish phrases our grandmother had taught us. We giggled uncontrollably as we tried to remember them and pronounce them correctly. "Dumb girl", we both affectionately said to each other as we ended the call.

The weekend before she died she attended a New Years football party that her sister hosted, and was the life of the party.

Two days later, my mom called.

“She killed herself, didn’t she?”

“Yes…. She did.”

She left a note, but it was mostly illegible and totally incoherent.

She shot herself… and then called her sister.

We’ll never know why she called. She didn’t speak…. Couldn’t speak… They only knew it was her from the caller i.d.

Was she calling to alert someone so her body would be found quickly? Or was she calling to ask for help because she’d realized too late that she’d made a mistake? It didn't matter. Her sister immediately went to her house, but it was already too late. FC was gone.

I have nightmares about that phone call to this day.

One of her best friends since grade school spoke at her funeral. The first thing she said was, “I know that the first thing FC would want me to tell you all was that she is so very sorry… and if she knew her actions would cause this sort of pain, she never would have done it.”

I know FC is sorry. I know she loved us and didn’t want any of us to be in pain. But for whatever reasons, the demons she was battling wouldn’t allow her to see past her own pain.

I don’t blame her any more. I’ve gotten past the anger, and have forgiven her.

I miss her nearly every day, and look forward to meeting up with her again some day. We’ll get some pizza at Brick Oven, go bowling, and then hang out with Grandma and learn some new Danish words.

I love you FC, and miss you terribly. I hope you knew that you were loved and cared about. I hope that somewhere in the vast sea of pain that you were drowning in, there was a place you could still go to in your mind where you knew how special and amazing you were.

I miss you. I love you.... Dumb girl.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008


Well, good morning and welcome to another new year! I hope that you are all bright-eyed and hopeful about the fresh new year ahead, and aren't nursing some nasty hangovers.

We had a quiet night at home, which at my age, is really where I'd prefer being on New Years Eve anyway. We watched movies and ate junk food, and I was sound asleep on the couch by 10:30pm.

(you know that feeling when you realize you've turned into your parents? I get that feeling a lot these days)

The girls poked and prodded me a few minutes before midnight so that I wouldn't miss the big event. They had conned me into buying some of those "popper" things where you pull the string and confetti explodes everywhere, so we went out in the front yard and made a big confetti mess. I dared D2 to run around the car screaming "Happy New Year" as loud as she could. (never dare an 11 year old to do anything.) D1 rolled her eyes at me and said "Mom, that is SOOOOO embarrassing" and promptly ran in to the house.

Then, being the big party animals that we are, we promptly went to bed!

The girls are now with their dad, and I'm off to see a movie with my mom. (We're seeing "Juno". I'll let you know how it was!)

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year!!!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Happy Birthday to Me... again....

Wow, 2 posts in three days? Its practically a posting frenzy. For your safety, I would recommend keeping your arms and legs inside the browser window....

And yes, as the title would indicate, today is my birthday. Again. Didn't I just have one of the damn things last year? Today I am 35... for roughly the 7th or 8th time, depending on how you wanna do the math. I really dislike birthdays. I really really dislike birthdays. Or maybe I should clarify that. I don't dislike YOUR birthday. Just mine. If it weren't for the fact that my kids get so excited about cooking me dinner and making me a cake, I'd probably try to bypass the whole thing altogether.

My children are cooking me a super secret birthday dinner. My mom clued me in just so I wouldn't accidentally make other plans. (why she thought I'd be making plans when she knows how I feel about birthdays is beyond me, but I guess its better to be safe than sorry) So anyway, my kids are going over to my parents house after school to work on the birthday extravaganza, and I am supposed to show up at the appointed time and act all sorts of surprised. And truthfully, despite my Bah-Humbuginess, I AM excited because THEY are excited. Things have been stressful for them lately, so they need the distraction.

(GASP! I just remembered another blog topic! Maybe later in the week.)

And speaking of watching too much TV... (weren't we?)... if you haven't seen the new show "Pushing Daisies", you really must. Its like Dr Seuss. For grown ups. On crack.

(I don't mean its for grown ups on crack. I mean its like Dr Seuss on crack.)

Anyway, if you aren't into ridiculously quirky, you might not like it. But I think the writing is brilliant and I laugh hysterically every time I watch it.

So that's all I've got for you today. I hope you all have a really great Tuesday!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Happy Holidays! (picture included!)

Why I have such a love/hate relationship with this whole blogging thing is beyond me. I WANT to write... and write consistently... Yet I have such a hard time sitting down and making myself follow through. And its become sort of a vicious circle, because I've been so sporadic in updating that most of the folks that read me with any regularity have completely given up on checking in (who can blame them), which makes me even less motivated to post anything. Which means even more of you stop checking in. See what I mean?

And I go through mixed feelings of not really having anything to write about, which often changes to having too much to write about and not even knowing how to go about it.

Anyway, for those of you who still stop by now and then to check up on me, I appreciate you more than you know. And this post is to wish you all a very happy holiday season! I hope you are all enjoying the meaning of the season, and not getting too caught up in the rat race. (Its always a battle to find the balance, isn't it?)

Also, since I'm not able to mail you all a Christmas card with our official Christmas picture in it, here it is for your viewing pleasure. I decided to test out the delay timer on my camera, so this is an authentic do-it-yourself picture. After an hour or so, and dozens and dozens of shots, this is what we ended up with. Its extremely amateurish, but we had a ball doing it. We also have a hilarious blooper reel full of shots of us in fits of giggles, of the cat frantically trying to escape the picture (notice she is not in the finished product) and several shots of D2's stomach when the timer malfunctioned.

Happy Holidays everyone!

Saturday, October 20, 2007


.... and ripped off from somewhere else... But it made me laugh and I needed a new post, so there ya go... Hope you get a smile out of it...


  1. Leave the copy machine set to reduce 200%, extra dark, 17 inch paper, 99 copies.
  2. In the memo field of all your checks, write "for sexual favors."
  3. Specify that your drive-through order is "TO-GO."
  4. If you have a glass eye, tap on it occasionally with your pen while talking to others.
  5. Stomp on little plastic ketchup packets.
  6. Insist on keeping your car windshield wipers running in all weather conditions "to keep them tuned up."
  7. Reply to everything someone says with "that's what you think."
  8. Practice making fax and modem noises.
  9. Highlight irrelevant information in scientific papers and "cc" them to your boss.
  10. Make beeping noises when a large person backs up.
  11. Finish all your sentences with the words "in accordance with prophesy."
  12. Signal that a conversation is over by clamping your hands over your ears and grimacing.
  13. Disassemble your pen and "accidentally" flip the ink cartridge across the room.
  14. Holler random numbers while someone is counting.
  15. Adjust the tint on your TV so that all the people are green, and insist to others that you "like it that way."
  16. Staple pages in the middle of the page.
  17. Publicly investigate just how slowly you can make a croaking noise.
  18. Honk and wave to strangers.
  19. Decline to be seated at a restaurant, and simply eat their complimentary mints at the cash register.
  21. type only in lowercase.
  22. dont use any punctuation either
  23. Buy a large quantity of orange traffic cones and reroute whole streets.
  24. Repeat the following conversation a dozen times.
    "Never mind, it's gone now."
  25. As much as possible, skip rather than walk.
  26. Try playing the William Tell Overture by tapping on the bottom of your chin. When nearly done, announce "No, wait, I messed it up," and repeat.
  27. Ask people what gender they are.
  28. While making presentations, occasionally bob your head like a parakeet.
  29. Sit in your front yard pointing a hair dryer at passing cars to see if they slow down.
  30. Sing along at the opera.
  31. Go to a poetry recital and ask why each poem doesn't rhyme.
  32. Ask your co-workers mysterious questions and then scribble their answers in a notebook. Mutter something about "psychological profiles."

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

please count your blessings...

... bad things happen to people every single day, and often times we are so busy with our own lives, our own problems, that we scarcely notice...

But then something hits painfully close to home, and we are once again reminded of how fragile life is... how the often chaotic, often mundane, usually crazy, wonderful, beautiful thing that we call our lives can change in an instant... a heartbeat...

Please follow this link:

One of the passengers on that plane is the daughter of someone I know and care about. This woman has been my co-worker, my boss, and my friend for many years... and now, as night falls, she doesn't know if her daughter is cold... scared... badly hurt... or even something else entirely that her mind is not even letting her consider yet...

The snow is just starting to fall in the Cascades. The people on board that plane, as well as their friends and loved ones, desperately need prayers right now. Please do what you can in that department... and then go hug your family...

Update: As of 10:00pm MDT, the latest news was that the wreckage had been found. No word on survivors yet. I've tried to go to bed at least a dozen times but all I can do is sit here staring at the local news website, hitting the refresh button.....
Update #2: Midnight MDT. The FAA spokesman is using very non-committal and carefully couched words, but it sounds as if there may be no survivors. I can't think about it anymore. I'm going to go to bed, and pray for a miracle that they find the tail of the aircraft with survivors inside. It's beyond heartbreaking...
*Update #3: 12:10am MDT. All 10 on board confirmed dead. Prayers for the families...