December 30, 2005

Pray Again

1-09-06 Update:

Grandpa is off the ventillator. He is still in the ICU.

1-03-06 Update:

No new news. Grandpa is still on the ventillator. I am back in the Cities. I got in last night, and I work today. I will know more tonight.

Thanks for praying.

I'm banging this out on the hospital curtesy computer so forgive any errors. Please pray for my grandpa again (and my family, especially my grandma and dad). Grandpa's going back into surgery this afternoon. Thanks.

10:40 PM update:
Here's all the news that I know. Grandpa had surgery. The surgeon sounded relatively optimistic. He said the next 24 hours are going to be critical, but right now they're giving Grandpa a 50/50 chance of making it.

So basically, my Christmas and pre-Christmas have been one big rollercoaster ride on the emotions. Today we went from they're not going to do anything and Grandpa's going to die to they're going to do surgery and Grandpa's probably going to die to they're doing surgery and he will probably die at any minute to they did surgery and he might just make it but we can't be sure for another 24 hours. I feel like I have been drug through the mill.

The difficult relatives also showed up and felt compelled to hug me, so that was fun. Everybody's at the end of their nerves, so added tension was really nice.

On the whole, I'm not sure whether to laugh or cry or fall asleep in dead exhaustion. I'm sorry I haven't called all you all, but my phone was in roam and then it wouldn't pick up a signal and now it's a quarter to 11, and I know most of you are asleep.

Anyway, that's the update. Please keep praying. We can use all the help we can get right now.

Posted by LoWriter at 01:38 PM | Comments (0)

December 27, 2005

I've Got the Time

While I've got the time, I'm going to write two entries in a row. That's right people. Not only do you get two entries in the same week, but you get two in a row. Now that's service. Yeah. Right.

Since I'm pretty sure that my total readership has now gone down to three, I want to take this moment to bitch about retail.

Why in the world would you package stuff in holiday wrapping. Especially stuff like Ritz crackers. Do you honestly sell that many more? And not only that, but then you have to sell it for half price after the fact. How can they make money that way?

I mean, don't get me wrong, I love to go out and celebrate the excessive packaging in the Christmas world. But I mean seriously, every year, I buy at least one bag of Christmas M & M's. And I do definitely buy more M & M's during Christmas (that's right, bitches. I called it Christmas. That's what I celebrate) because I like the red and green ones best, but I ask you. How many freaks like me can there be in the universe?

While I can definitely tell the difference between a green and a blue M&M, I'm not sure anybody else can. I would definitely buy them all year round, and if I ever get to be as cool and rich as Bill Gates, I will probably order my own personal mix of only original green and red M&M's rather than the current sacriligious mix of two greens and red. Therefore, there is no need for Christmas packaging. I would eat them anyway. (I personally love the word therefore. It can connect two completely unrelated ideas with near ease and almost grace.)

I guess I can't complain too much. I did get five packs of tic-tacs for a mere 99 cents, but really? Christmas tic-tacs? Who do you give a five pack of tic-tacs so that they could even enjoy the Christmas wrapping? And why wouldn't you package them so that the bar code on the outside was the price for all five, but each individual pack had it's own bar code which was the price for one? That way, after the holidays, you could just have stores unpackage the puppies and put them on the regular shelf.

I will say this: I enjoy every minute of sorting through Christmas stuff on the day after Christmas. I love the large crowds and the people I meet while doing what I like to call the post Christmas march through the Target aisles. (For those of you who don't have the pleasure, you get a cart, find the Christmas aisles and proceed to dive in and follow the people in front of you up and down the aisles. You see every bit of Christmas leftovers known to man because that's the way we do it.) I love coming home with fancy chocolates. (When I write up my superhero description, that is definitely going to be my fatal flaw. I am a complete sucker for fancy chocolates, particularily milk chocolates with raspberry or strawberry or apricot filling.) I love the fact that I've started next year's Christmas shopping already. I love spending an entire day with my mom sans little sisters (yay feeling like an only child for 6 hours). I love it all, from the people hitting other people with their carts to the last minute purchase found at the check outs where someone else carelessly discarded it.

And if, in order to get this fun, I have to listen to Christmas ads and look at Christmas packaging for a few months pre/post, I'll do it. I'm definitely laughing all the way to my box of half priced Choxie, I can tell you that right now.

Posted by LoWriter at 11:14 PM | Comments (1)

December 26, 2005


Well, it's that time of year again. It's the time of year when I stock up on Christmas stuff for next year. That's right. I don't pay full price for anything, and wrapping paper and Christmas cards are no exceptions.

Today my mom and I went to Bemidji and bought a lot of stuff. I bought "Choxie" (Target's chocolate with moxie) for myself to eat today. (No, I don't buy candy for next year; that's gross.) I also picked up some lipgloss I've been eyeing all season that was in holiday packaging. I also hooked myself up with some of those candy coated mini-kisses. If you have not tried these, you are missing out.

I started my Christmas shopping for next year, too, a move I have never managed to accomplish until now. I got my mom a mini-vase and some hand towels to go with whatever big gift I get her next year. We kinda go overboard on Christmas.

I would say that this was probably the strangest Christmas I've had yet. I went to Fargo on the 23rd and visited my grandpa in the hospital. That night, they moved him into the ICU, so that wasn't cool. The next morning, he was doing better, so we decided not to go. (Grandma and my aunt went.) We had Christmas Eve supper, but it just felt strange. Then on Christmas, we had dinner together with both my grandmas, and my dad and sisters went to Fargo while I stayed home to help my mom with the grandmas. (My sisters aren't going to be able to go tomorrow, so I took one for the team.) We played Scrabble, but it was weird.

All in all, I would say that this Christmas went ker-plunk. There was a lot to be thankful for (i.e. Grandpa being alive, albeit not well), but it was very strange.

I got season one of Sex and the City, which I wasn't expecting, and a lot of pictures for my walls. I also got a new microwave and a big crock pot, so I made out like a bandit there.

I guess we could still use prayer for my grandpa because like I said, he's back in the ICU.

How about you all? Was Santa good to you? Did Christmas meet the expectations? Was it, in fact, all the hype that your money could buy? Did anybody else brave the crowds for discounted fancy chocolate and a box of wrapping paper? Post responses in the comments. And P.S. MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

Posted by LoWriter at 04:56 PM | Comments (1)

December 21, 2005


OK, so some of you know this, and some of you don't, but here it is for the masses.

Please continue to pray for my grandpa.

He had surgery last night, and it didn't go very well. They found more cancer, and had to remove more of his stomach than they thought. In addition, they had to remove his spleen, pancreas, and part of his colon as well. You can live without all of these things, but it's pretty major surgery to have them all removed at once when you're 84 years old. He was on a ventilator, and the doctor didn't think he was going to make it.

Thanks to what I can only describe as a miracle (and it put the belief in prayer and the power of God back into me), two hours after I got the call telling me that he was probably not going to make it, I got another call saying he was awake and breathing on his own. He went from dying to talking in a matter of hours. No one, especially not the doctor, was anticipating that.

So, all that to say thank you for your prayers and kind thoughts. Please continue to pray for him.

Posted by LoWriter at 12:59 PM | Comments (0)

December 19, 2005

The Strong One

I called Grandpa yesterday. It's always the hardest thing to do...calling him before a surgery, I mean. I'm never sure if it's going to be the last time I talk to him. We're always trying to say things without saying them; always trying to say goodbye without actually saying goodbye because that would be accepting it, and we want to fight it. I keep thinking that it will get easier, but it never does. If anything, it gets harder.

I didn't have a chance to say goodbye to Amy, and I'm not very good at goodbyes in general. I don't really like them. I try my best never to watch someone drive away (although sometimes it can't be helped without being extremely rude) because I feel worse if I do. I'm not sure what it is about watching people leave that breaks my heart, but it's worse than the actual leaving in my mind.

I'm not going to be able to be up north with the family when Grandpa has his surgery, and a small part of me is sort of glad because that's always the worst part. I always feel like I can't cry, like I'm not supposed to cry, because I'm supposed to be the strong one. The other part of me (the part that hasn't been conditioned to think like, well, a man) feels like if someone would give me permission, I would cry my heart out. I would weep and weep even though it's silly to cry just because you're scared.

Yesterday, I started to really lose it in church. I mean, I could feel the greif welling up inside of me, and I knew if I didn't get out of there, I was going to make a scene. I couldn't even say anything; I just had to leave. I drove around playing Rent songs and singing at the top of my lungs just so that I wouldn't have to go home and explain why my eyes were red to my sister. Then she left, and I took a nap.

Then I called Grandpa, and we said the things that we never actually say to each other. What we really say is, "Well, the doctor sounds optimistic, so that's a good thing," when what we mean is, "We're both really scared, but it sounds like maybe it'll be all right." He says, "I came out of the last one OK, so probably I'm going to be all right this time, too," but what he means is, "I am going to be OK, right?" I say, "I've got everyone I know praying for you, so just remember that," but what I mean is "Please fight this; don't leave me." We both try not to cry, and most of the times anymore, he's the one who starts crying, and I'm the one who holds back the tears because I'm supposed to be the strong one now.

We do say some of the things we mean. He tells me all the time how proud he is of us girls, and he tells me that he thinks the world of us. ("I just think the world of you girls.") I tell him how much he's taught me, and he tells me that he thinks it was probably the other way around.

He's my only Grandpa. He gave me my first real pocket knife when I was twelve. He was the first man in my life who told me he was proud of me. He told me my dad was proud of me, too, back when my dad didn't know how to say it. He told my dad what a good girl I was even though I'd over-heated the tractor or done some other stupid thing my dad was angry about. ("You've got a good girl, there, Jim.") He thinks I'm strong, hardworking, dedicated, and honest. He thinks the best of me. I wish I could be half the woman Grandpa thinks I am.

Those are the things I wish I could say. But then again, he probably already knows.

Posted by LoWriter at 08:39 AM | Comments (1)

December 16, 2005

Please Pray (Again)

My grandpa is having surgery on Tuesday the 20th. He has cancer in his stomach. We found out last week, but I have been fairly quiet about it until we knew what the situation was and what he would decide to do. The cancer has not spread to his lymph nodes, so the surgeon thinks they might be able to remove it (along with the bottom third of Grandpa's stomach). As usual, surgery is risky at best for my grandpa, and this is fairly major surgery. Please pray for him and for my family.

P.S. Work buddies: I have not told many people at work, so please keep this on the downlow. I haven't decided how much I want to share with the department as yet.

Posted by LoWriter at 08:24 AM | Comments (2)

December 12, 2005

Big Sweatshirt

There are several reasons why I enjoy being single and living alone. For instance, I happened upon reason number 1131 last night: Drinking Vicks formula 44 straight from the bottle. No spoon needed. It's fantastic. I hate cough syrup more than anything, and I don't know about you, but when I'm coughing, I hate having to measure out how much I'm supposed to take. I know how much two and a half teaspoons is, and frankly, prolonging the experience makes it worse. (This is also true with mouthwash, so don't borrow mine if you come over.)

I also stumbled across one of my favorite "single" possessions yesterday after a long hard weekend of (nearly) finishing my Christmas shopping, wedding attendance (still sorry I had to miss the after party!), and church/movie/laundry. It's pretty fantastic. It's my big guy sweatshirt from Old Navy, which I would argue was the best $10 I ever spent.

I think most girls will agree that there's something about curling up in a guy sweatshirt that makes you feel comfie and secure. Well, it's true even if a guy has never worn the sweatshirt.

It's sort of like curling up under a blanket. I will swear by the Old Navy sweatshirt until I die.

So, my evening last night was pretty uneventful, even if my weekend was pretty busy over-all. I'm not doing so well on the two hours of quiet time requirement. I did get some Sherlock Holmes back into my life. I started Firefly over (yet again) (those of you who know me will appreciate this because I've probably watched the entire series twenty times.) I even thought some about the distribution of Christmas presents. I considered doing some wrapping, but I was not that ambitious. I also contemplated vacuuming, but laundry won out.

On the whole, yay weekend!

Posted by LoWriter at 02:18 PM | Comments (3)

December 07, 2005


I used to believe that if I had had more time with my best friend, then I would have been OK to move on. I felt that if I'd spent the time I'd had with her before she died more wisely, then I would not have felt so miserable for so long.

Now, it is my humble opinion that there is never enough time. No matter how much time you have, you will always want more. Death is always a seperation, and having more time does not lessen the pain of it. Perhaps it is less of a shock if you've had more time, but only because the more time you have, the older the involved parties are likely to be.

Take my relationship with my grandparents, for example. They are all ill, and I feel that I've spent a very large amount of time with them--more than most, in fact. I have had many opportunities to visit with them about their pasts. I know that they are all proud of me, and they know that I love them.

And yet, when faced with the idea of one of them dying, I am always and always begging for more time. Not just yet. Just a few more days/weeks/months/years.

I'm not sure why we are like that. I am assuming it has to do with the fact that we love, so when we lose, we hurt.

Posted by LoWriter at 03:12 PM | Comments (2)

December 01, 2005

November Books

Without further ado, here is the list:

The Spiderwick Chronicles 1-4: These books are not worth listing seperately because they are at such a low reading level, but they are cute in places. I'm hooked on the story apparently, which is about three siblings who discover the world is full of fairies (and goblins and elves, etc.) through a field guide left behind by a relative. They're trying to be Lemony Snicket meets Harry Potter, and they're failing miserably, but it'll do for an audio book when I'm bored to death anyway. I'm hooked on finding out how they convince their mom that they are actually seeing fairies, but otherwise, I don't reccommend these.

Eldest by Christopher Paolini: This is the second in the Inheritance trilogy. It's getting better. You can tell the kid is maturing. It still relies a little too heavily on Lord of the Rings mythology, but it had some good surprising moments, and on the whole, I liked it better than the first.

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery: I finally, after years and years of trying, got through this book. It's fantastic. I liked it better than the movie, which I was addicted to, but it is pure sap. Excellent "chic flick" of a book. It's all about how Matthew and Marilla (brother and sister) adopt an orphan girl (instead of the boy they wanted to adopt). Very heartwarming for the winter months.

The Penultimate Peril by Lemony Snicket: Book the Twelfth is the second to last book in the series (as indicated by the title). This was a very good book. It delves more deeply into whether or not the ends justify the means. It leaves me wondering who the heros of the books will end up becoming. It has all the old elements (Treachery, secrecy, Olaf, big words defined in humorous ways), but there's even more heart to this book than the others. Plus ten to the overall score of the series. I give this the dubious "honor" of best book I read this month.

That's it, kids. Feel free to share your own reads in the comments

Posted by LoWriter at 02:48 PM | Comments (2)