Saturday, September 27, 2008

Cemetery Candy

Happy Halloween!!! This is my really great picture of Sophie lou Who, age 3. It looks like my gifted daughter was able to look pensive and waiflike on cue. The truth is she found an opened cough drop in the cemetary dirt and promptly popped it in her mouth. I may not get mother of the year again this year but I do draw the line at eating candy out of the dirt of the dead. I should get some credit for taking her out of the cemetary when a very scary looking homeless man wandered out, mumbeling to himself. This was just as the light was getting atmospheric. If you compare this to my friend Kat's blog, she is making applesauce with other perfect oregon mothers while I am teaching sophie how to dodge dangerous homeless persons.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Professional Friend

This is Sophie and her Dad. He is a therapist which I think is fortunate. If you ask him what he does for a living he will tell you he is your friend for money. Funny Man. 10 things about him. ( I stole this from the next blog over) 1. He loves archeology. 2. and me and Sophie. 3. He is very very patient unless you throw away something of his. then you have to hide out in another country. 4. He loves power tools and guards them jealously. 5. He makes great chicken Fajitas. 6. He is a good son, evidenced by the fact that he is not in jail or on the lam. And I love him, I must evidenced by the fact that I am not in jail on the lam or rehersing the 911 call from his mothers house. 7. he had the enormous good sense to marry me. 8. He likes everything by the Cohen Brothers and Quinten Terrentino. 9. He hates to crush ants or anything for that matter he still feels bad about the horses that drowned in the 10 commandments. 10. He keeps me laughing. "cats on fire"

Monday, September 22, 2008


I have followers, this is very exciting to me. I look every day to see how many people read this. This blog site tells you 200 some now. I don't even care that most of them stumbled here accidentally because i have the word chupacabra in one of my stories. Two is not exactly Jim Jones and the KooL aid status but hey. It is worrisome that both of my followers pictures look like they are in the witness protection program. This means one of two things A) both of my followers are uni bombers or B) They are so embarrassed that they prefer to remain anonymous. You go followers. Valerie Em

Thursday, September 18, 2008

go to the basement and bring me a bottle of green hair

Since I have been staying with my mother we have been writing a book of her memories, she wants me to pass this on to Sophie one day so she will know her history. She is afraid that I will lie to Sophie and make up a more interesting history. She may be right. Her memories usually could be ripped straight from a walt disney movie with singing mice and little birds holding up her poplin dress. The only interesting stories begin "well we don't need to tell everyone that one". Like the time my uncle ran over someone, he didn't actually run over him he was guiding a truck backwards and had the guy back right over someone. He didn't get fired either. very different world. I was tasking myself on the long drive b ack to Norfolk to think of my own childhood memories and the one that comes back the most strongly is the bottle of green hair. We are Mormon's I didn't mention that did I. Mormon's believe that you should keep 2 years of food on hand and usually can their own food. My Grandma did. My grandparent's owned an orchard so my Grandma did a lot of canning. Every meal she would send me or my sister down to the basement, or dungeon if you are English, The basement was a concrete Bunker about 50 miles long. The only lights were in the middle of the bunker and you had to find a little bitty string the size of a cobweb in the middle of the dark room meanwhile the diabolical water heater would come on with a loud thud making all the blood in your body race to your armpits. After you got the peaches you were required to turn off the light and transverse the 50 miles of darkened bunker to make it to the stairs. My grandfather built the house and he put a dark hole at the bottom of the stairs to keep monsters and spiders I think. The only way to make it up the stairs alive was to run and leap up the first three stairs and keep going. If you fell on the concrete stairs and they became slick with your blood it didn't matter the important thing was to just keep going. At the top of the stairs my Grandparent's kept coats , million year old robes and hats making the top of the stairs look like it was populated with corpses dressed for inclement weather. After this ordeal at the top of the stairs if your sister hadn't locked the door you would proudly give the peaches to your grandma who would promptly send you back downstairs to get the old peaches from the back. Despite the fact that we lived in an orchard in the winter we never had a luscious pink and yellow peach instead we got the peaches from 10 years ago. For those of you who have never had a 10 year old peach you don't know but they look like a giant hairball kept in a glass jar by Hannibal lectern. My grandmother dyed them different colors so they looked like festive goiters.She served them on a bed of creamy cottage cheese.


This is a mermaid I painted for Sophie's room. The pencil work around it is Sophie's rendition of water. Valerie t

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


I am writing tonight with my jaw clenched so tightly that several of my molars have snapped off. My mom, the cancer patient, thats right. Has been teaching the three year old Sophie to add Y to the end of everything. Babytalk Yuck!! so it's not a blanket but a blankey and a veggie and a doggie and worst of all a meaty. It shouldn't be so irritating but it's been a really long day. My mom insists on cabbage and ham for dinner, this is voluntary, we are not prisoners of war or anything. She doesn't want to be a bother so she will make it rather than eat leftover but good enchiladas. This sounds nobel unless you understant that her right hand doesn't work all that well so it would be cabbage ham and little bits of her thumb. The cabbage is so predictably bad that the thumb could only have improved it. Now mom wants Icecream, easy enough unless you are my mom, she wants strawberries blended with them, the strawberries that are frozen to the consistancy of river pebbles, so after I attempt to blend them in the blender I then have to strain the milkshake for big shards of the plastic spoon that shattered in the blender. I am doing all this blinded by the milkshake and frozen strawberries that are dripping off my eyebrows into the strawberry slop. The entire time mom is advising me on every step including my breathing and anger management techniques. But now the day is over and life at the moment seeems pretty good. Mom's chemo is working really well, she has never been sick one time. She and Sopnie love each other and sophie is sleeping soundley in her little Dora underpants. I have been teaching her to say please and it is working. the last thing she said to me before falling asleep was Please don't be really horrible. Mom's really old blender is smoking softly on the back porch so it won't ignite and burn down the house and I have the new Elizabeth George book on tape to listen to (careless in Red) really good. So while I complain I have a lot to be greatful for.

Monday, September 8, 2008


Today we are up at Walter Ried Hospital, while my mom gets chemo. She was diagnosed with inflamatory breast cancer in November and given 2 months to live. They said there was no hope at all. Cancel all magazine subscriptions and go home and wait. Very horrible. It is September and she is doing very well.
I wish I could say our story was the kind you see on lifetime but the reality was very different; my sister and I promptly turned into something you might see on Jerry Springer, all we needed was a naked dwarf to fight over, and my Mom promptly turned in Zha Zha Gabor. We have had 3 rounds of chemo and one million shots and pills. They sent me home to take care of her with this advice: give her the big shot at a 45 degree angle. It was terrifying. Every time she said she was cold I thought it was the end. There were no soft focus moments where we shared secrets and lifes meaning but rather moments where she thought I might be the dumbest human alive because I used a steak knife to butter bread. She is using our time together to turn me into Marie Osmond.
In the beginning I spent a lot of time changing sheets and trying to be the perfect nursemaid. I cried all the time and completely fell apart. After on grueling day of changing all the bedding and scrubbing rugs, these are the things they don't show on lifetime, Sophie brought me a little gift, her sippie cup "whats this sophie" she had thoughtfully pooped in the cup and put the lid back on. This was the first time I laughed in months. Anyway things are a little better now. Her chemo is working, she will not go into remission but will get more time. To complete my transformation probabally, look for me with big hair and suntan hose, maybe competing on dancing with the stars.

Monday, September 1, 2008

She talks to dead animals

We recently lost our beloved cat eddie, not lost him really, we know where he is, buried in the yard. He died. It was unexpected and we had a mad dash to the vet where he was put to sleep, another lie, he is not sleeping, anyway I couldn't bring myself to tell sophie so i just said he was at the dr.'s He stayed at the dr'.s for several weeks untill i worked up the nerve to tell her he had died. That was tough. Lots of questions about jesus keeping our cat, which doesn't seem fair. This is the second cat death, the first was Norman Bates who was about 25 when he died. Sophie used to say he was her favorite cat, then she liked Eddie best and he died, then she liked Phoebe, age 22 at the time of her unfortunate death. Now we forbid her to have favorites, we only have Lola, Lucy and Roxanne, (princess bitch kitten) left.
Anyway Sophie has taken to calling the dead pets on an antique telephone. She sounds really convincing. She pauses and laughs and says "really". It's really chilling. My mom explained to me once that pets are put on this earth to get us used to death. Her most bizarre pronouncement to date. If that's the case I will just get really old pets from the pound. Extra practice that way. Anyway we miss Eddie, he was a great old cat.