Friday, May 29, 2009


Kenny-Bear and I spent the weekend in Island Park. Right on Henry's Lake. The cabin was gorgeous. It was huge. It said it slept 10 and could have easily slept 20. It was spectacular. I am becoming somewhat of a fishing enthusiast, and last weekend being opening day at Henry's I couldn't exactly miss it. Saturday we got up at the butt crack of dawn to get a good spot on the lake. I'm talking 4:00 AM! Is God awake then? I was dragging a little but once we got in the boat and started cruising at 20 mph through the chilled morning air- I woke up. We secured the "best spot" on the lake and waited until 5. You aren't allowed to fish before 5. So at 5 we all threw our lines in and started reelin' 'em in. It was so fun! I've caught fish before that were all pretty small. Less than a pound under 6 inches. Tiny buggers. But Saturday I was pullin' monsters out of the water! Big doggies! It was a blast! I caught 8 Saturday. We fished until noon. That's when everyone hit a brick wall of sleep. We headed back, ate lunch, rested up and hit it again. We literally fished from dawn until dusk. What a day.
Sunday was church. We checked it out online the day before and they do a one hour service. So we went at nine and I couldn't believe the flocks of Mormons going to church! They had 2 buildings. One had the actual speakers and the other was a broadcast building. Both chapels were full through the gyms and stages, the Relief Society rooms were full. The primary, young women, baptismal font rooms, all full. In both buildings! A guy told us they have 75 deacons come from surrounding wards to pass the sacrament. 75 deacons! It was amazing. It was rainy and gloomy outside most of Sunday which I was grateful for. I climbed into my bed after lunch... at about noon and surfaced again at 5. That felt good.
Monday was fly-fishing. It was my first time really trying it. I was bad. I mean I couldn't even get my line out there. And it didn't help that where were 15 professionally snobby fly-fishermen watching and criticizing. At first it was really intimidating... but then I figured this is my day. My FIRST day. I can do this. And I got better. I didn't catch anything but my technique improved. I kept looking down by the dock and there was a lady there just ripping them out of the water. Every other cast she had a fish on the line. I asked my unofficial guide what she was using and he didn't know. Apparently this woman didn't tell anyone. But I was going to change that. I set my rod down and marched right over to her. I watched her and then the questions started pouring out of my mouth. I played the girl-power card. I played the first-time fly-fishing card. I played the you're-lucky-your-boyfriend-is-helping-you-my-husband-isn't card. I played the nice-waders card. And it all worked like a charm. She secretly showed me what she was using. She let me get in the water next to her. She let me reel her fish in. She let me use her rod while she re-tied mine using all her stuff! She gave me the fly she was using and a strike indicator and everything. It was a blast. And sure enough my second or third cast... I got what I went for.

What a weekend.

Friday, May 22, 2009

"It" Came!

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It came! Without any expectations at all! It was like Christmas this morning! I haven't had my period since the end of December because of my tumor. (I always want to say it: too-maaaa. So, today, I will.) And even then, the docs said it was because my birth control was forcing my body to function that way. So I have been periodless all year up to this point. At first I hated not getting it, especially after I found out it was because I had an abnormal totally idiotic growth in my friggin' brain. But then there was a shift in attitudes and (bam!) it was awesome. I never had my period. I never had my period! Never got cranky or crampy. Never had to worry about it on trips. No extra money on Midol. It was a dream. But, in the back of my head I knew the only reason I wasn't having my period was because of my too-maaaa. So, I guess it wasn't so much in the back of my head. It was the middle, under my brain, behind my eyes sort of area. Hahaha. No period meant bad too-maaa.
But today it is here! Yippee! I've never been so happy to be menstruating. Could they have picked an uglier, more gross word? I don't think so. But today I am in menstrual heaven! I am dancing amidst tampons and pads with wings. I am in a euphoria of tiny cramps and welcome back aches. This is the best period of my life!
It means my tumor is shrinking... or maybe even gone.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Somedays I'm a Super Girl

This is an older picture of Vicky. From 2002. When I probably 7 to maybe 9 my sister Vicky told us she had super-powers. She could do magic. Make things move by looking at them. Make things disappear. Prevent car accidents. All of these occurred when nobody was watching of course. She claimed the only time it worked in front of us girls was if everyone had 100% faith. If even one person had one iota of disbelief her powers were voided. We were cleaning out the garage one time (mom's idea) and converting it into a rollerskating rink (our idea). We had just finished sweeping and there was a big pile of dirt, dust, nails, and spiders. Nobody wanted to sweep it up because of the dead spiders. So we decided to call on Vicky's Super-Powers. Boy did she have us going! She paced the pile. Circle the pile. Waved her hands over it. And finally went into a deep meditation. I'll admit I was ready for a big teal spark and the pile to be gone. I watched. Vicky's face contorted and as she opened her eyes she said, "Someone here doesn't believe." She stared each of us down one and by one. I believed. It wasn't me stopping her magic from working. I think it was Krissy. Her and Krissy got into a big fight about it actually. If Krissy would have just believed who knows... maybe that pile would have disappeared.
I recently found out I have super-natural, super-hero powers. I can't fly. I'm not the Invisible Woman. I don't have a lasso of truth (frown). My super power is still quite phenomenal. I can't prevent accidents, I can't make a pile of garage rubble disappear but I think it's pretty cool. I also find it interesting that like most superheros I wasn't born with this. It has come a little later in life. 24 years later. Are you ready?
I am immune to all man-made medicines! My body will combat them! Tylenol? Resistant. Nyquil? Impervious. Benadryl? Invulnerable. Claritin? Insusceptible. Give me your best, your strongest, and I will destroy them. Medicines stand no chance against me. They fail against my super powers.
If you don't believe me you can ask the cold I have had for a week now.

Go ahead, call me Wonder Woman. Admit it, there is a striking resemblence.

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Call-Back

Dr. L.'s office called me back! Only, what, 6 days after the original missed? Only it wasn't the doctor it was a nurse who seemed to be reading notes to me. I am focusing on the positive in this situation... so. My prolactin levels are back to normal! Yay! I know you are dying to but please don't ask what that means for my tumor because my nurse didn't know but she was sure to leave a message for the doctor. All I know is the doctor believed high prolactin levels could have caused the tumor. So with them back to normal I can only assume I am going back to normal. Which I will be looking forward to because this medicine I am taking is loaded with testosterone. And it's having some seriously strange side effects. Like, I think I am growing a mustache. Seriously! Don't laugh.
I am Italian, so have more facial hair than some women. My eyebrows have always grown straight up to my hair line. But I wax and trim. And what not. I normally do the 'stache wax every 6 months and it's nothing too bad. I had it waxed a month ago and it is back and dark and thick and Ken says I look like a little boy trying to grow some facial hair. Testosterone.
I rented Mamma Mia! this weekend and never got into it! I know!! A musical that I didn't get into. I love musicals. I love cheesy movies. And I think my medicine is ruining it for me. Testosterone.
And, finally, my sex-drive is through the roof! Testosterone.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


I have been waiting for my doctor to call me back for for 21 days. Yeah. Sickening, huh? I've called and called and called and have been dealt with by one crabby nurse after another. None of which have given me any answers!
To recap, I got blood work done 22 days ago. In house. To see if my prolactin level was down- which would be a sign that this medicine that makes me yack my brains out is working. So I get the blood work done and wait for a call on the results. I was too impatient and called and a nurse said it was "still pending" so I continued to call back. After I got the bill in the mail I knew it was no longer pending... but still no one had told ME! So, I call and demand some answers. The nurse told me "6." Nothing else. I had to pry information from her. I told her a little over a month ago my level was way over 100 and does the medicine normally work that fast? She claimed they were most likely using a different scale. My response was Who would know better than they would... the keeper's of my chart... if they were using a different scale. Her response... the doctor. So, lucky me, I get to leave another message for the doctor.
I have kept my phone by my side religiously. I keep it out at work. Which I hate to do. I think it's bad manners. I've taken it to church with me. I put it on my nightstand when I go to sleep thinking maybe after Dr. Lilinjquist finished watching Leno he'll remember to freakin' call me. Nothing.
I was complaining to Ken about it last night. And sweet, peaceful, somber, easy-going, Ken says to let it go. He says, I've been feeling better and I haven't been as sick and 6 sounds like a low number. So, let it go.
I, foolishly, take his advice. Yeah, I thought, when I know I know. Until then- keep taking my meds and relax. I'm not waltzing my way to my grave. Today I put my phone on silent and tucked it into my purse for the work day.
I just checked it.
1 Missed Call.
Dr. Lilinquist's office. Now, I am once again prisoner to my phone.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Word to Your Mother

In honor of the Day of the Mother's I am posting about my mem. Virginia Marie Capone. That's her in the middle. She goes by Ginger, Ging, Ginger-vitus, Ramona Capona, Gingerbread Head, Gingiva, Mom, Mammma, Mem, Mammy Cat, Mamasita, Mrs. Bradley, Ms. Bratley, and Sister Bradley.
My mom is 100% Italian. She is the 3rd born in a family of 8. Jimmy, Tommy, Ginger, Marie, Joey, Victor, Betsy, and Patty. This is her and her sistas. (Mom on far left) My mom grew up in Pittsburgh, PA and has never-ending love for that city. My mom was converted to the church while she was living in a convent.

My mom has an incredible feel for common sense. She ha the answer to any problem you can think of. It's like she sees it in a totally new and different way and therefor has the answer. I once asked her how she figures everything out so well. She told me that in College she took a Logistics class. And it was hard. The whole course was how to figure out what A+B equalled in a million different cases. She figured she could apply that class to every aspect of her life. So she busted her chops and learned everything she could out of that class. Now she can solve any problem. ie. Patty (A) likes a Boy (B) A+B must equal A+B. If the boy doesn't like Patty than the equation will never work no matter how much A is in the equation. Get it? Pretty cool if you ask me.
My mom is okay being an old-fashioned woman. She literally serves my dad. And she loves it. She makes him a hot meal that is on the table at 5:30 every night. She brings him lemonade and a cool washrag when he is mowing the lawn. She pops popcorn and pours a Root Beer when his weekly show is coming on. She irons his shirts. It's a little 50s-esque. But I admire it.
My mom is the best story-teller in the world. When she tells a story or an experience- there is no stuttering, no weird pauses, no forgetting where she was. It's almost like she wrote it down and can recite it from memory. I love hearing her tell stories.
My mom loves to dance. Andi gave her two CDs for Mothers Day of all my mom's favorite songs. Some of which include: Cleaning Out My Closet- Eminem, Womanizer- Brittney Spears, Oh Sherri- Steve Perry, Never There- CAKE, Shot You Down- Audi Bully feat. Nancy Sinatra, Mambo # 5- Lou Bega, Sway- Pussycat Dolls, Girls- Beastie Boys. I love that my mom loves music. Period. Not country music or pop or classic. She just loves music. All kinds.
Plus, my mom is gorgeous. She really is. I love how pretty she is. Her skin is amazing and her hair. Everyone is always talking about how great her hair is. And it really is. She's the prettiest mom I know.
Yesterday, I asked her what the best advice she could give me about being a mom:
"You know your kids can be perfect but, you have to let them do it their own way, anyway."

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Best Dog On Museum in The West

After our magical trip down the yellow-brick road (ie Yellowstone) we landed in Cody, WY. Completely starved. No matter how many Sour Patch Kids, Gummi Sharks, Salt Water Taffy, and Pretzels we ate... we were all wolf-dog-hungry by the time we got to Cody. We ate at Granny's. I had chicken-fried steak. My sister Julie has a theory that when going to restaurant and you don't know what to get- people from the west always get Country Fried Steak and people from the east always get Chicken Strips. They are sure bets. I used to always get chicken strips and now I get CFS. Am I officially a westerner? Thoughts to ponder I suppose.

After dinner we were all stuffed. We went to Walmart because Ken and I forgot socks (and Immodium) and then we hit the sack early... which was good because the museum was a LOT bigger than we thought it would be. (One more quick foodie note: I had the best sticky bun ever for breakfast Friday morning. It was so good there was an encore performance Saturday morning. Yum. It was gooey and glazey and warm. Almost heaven.)
Onto the Museum!

This Buffalo Bill Historical Center consists of 5 wings: Buffalo Bill and The Wild West Show, Plains Indians, Whitney Art Gallery, Yellowstone's Natural History, and Guns.

Let's start with the least favorite of the bunch and work up to the finale. The guns ranked lowest on my list. I'm just not that into guns. To me there were 1,200 models of basically the same rifle. A few pearls in the mud were a gun made for Ol' King Louie that was over 6 feet long and weighed 28 pounds! A real doozie. There was the duck-foot gun:

I got such a kick out this cock-a-mamey gun! I can only picture someone trying to run from a bullet and this gun has just gotcha covered. No matter what direction their running you have a decent chance of hitting them.
Then there was this teeny weeny mini gun.

I can't imagine getting shot with that bullet would hurt very much. It's be like "plink!". And you'd swat your arm like a little mosquito was buggin ya. What a riot. When we were leaving the exhibit there was a sign that said "If You've enjoyed the 1,200 guns on display please visit our lower level for 1,700 more!" Wha?! Yeah. And we went and looked at 1,700 more. My favorite part of this exhibit was the trophy case.
Who knew you could stuff a walrus?

My snuggle bear next to a polar bear. Yoiks!

This bear had a secret to tell me... but I couldn't quite hear him without leaning in a little.

Ken has a dead-shot... half the time.

The Whitney Gallery was closed for remodeling- so that takes care of that. I peeked through the partitions and saw a HUGE elk sculpture. End of story.

Next up in line was Buffalo Bill. The collection of history is hard to fathom. They had a TON of artifacts. A lot of it was labeled "Do Not Touch" which is boring. But the museum did a terrific job of really bringing Buffalo Bill to life. Buffalo Bill's real name is William F. Cody. He was a celebrity. Toured the US and even parts of Europe. Served in the Civil War. Was married. And was put out of business when the silent movies came along. It was fascinating reading about him. Word to the wise: if you go to this museum and you only have one day- you really can't read everything. You have to pick and choose. But if you have a three day trip then read all you want. They relocated Buffalo Bill's house to Cody! I knocked but Buffalo Bill wasn't home.

It was a close call but I managed to out-run these buffalo. It was neck and neck there for awhile.
#2 in line of favorites was the Plain Indians exhibit. There was a really natural spirit feeling in the exhibit. They displayed stories of the Indians, artwork, and videos all centered around the Indians. Do you know the Indians traded with the Europeans to get all the beads for their outfits? And beads represented not only comfort and wealth but accomplishment and pride? The Indians danced for everything. The Rains. The Sun. To be Healed. I've taken up the habit of dancing for everything too and Ken thinks I'm a loon. Sheri and I sat in a replica of a mudhouse and watched a movies about how the Indians were driven from their land. I made me really embarrassed and sad. That we did that.

My favorite part of the museum was the Natural History exhibit. I credit this entirely to the fact that it was incredibly interactive. This exhibit talked about all the animals in Yellowstone, where they live, and why they live there. There were quizzes along the way, nature calls to make, and costumes to try on. Do you know Indians used the buffalo bladder as a water bottle? Kinda gross. But, hey, go Indians. At the end of the exhibit there were puppets and we all put on a show for Sheri. She got a big kick out of it. Unfortunately there was only one picture taken. Ken had the camera. Bummer.

It was a fanTASTIC trip. I think it turned this group of City Slickers into some real rugged cowboys!

Monday, May 4, 2009

The Great Escape

Last Thursday Bob (hereto forward known as Dad), Sheri, Ken, and Gorgeous Glorious Me hitched up our covered wagon (aka Sheri's Montero) and headed east to the Wild West. How oxymoronish. We had made plans to go to the Buffalo Bill History Center in Cody WY. I called Wednesday to see what roads were open in "The Park." For outsiders- "the park" refers to Yellowstone National Park. The most direct route was closed until May 8. The second most direct route was closed until May 1. One day after our departure. But the good news the most out of the way route was wide open. So we took that. Dad and Sheri are great to travel with because they will take bathroom breaks as often as needed. My dad, George, will get up before dawn and drive drive drive to get somewhere by noon with zero bathroom breaks if at all possible. I don't know if it's my meds or old age or what- but my bowels just aren't what they used to be. Anyway, they stop a lot which is nice for me. We get to the park entrance and the ranger tells us there are animals everywhere and to be very careful. That was the understatement of the year. It took us 5 and a half hours to get through the park. There were animals galore. We saw every animal Yellowstone offers (according to it's magazine) except for a pelican. By the end of the day it was Elk Schmelk.... let's get to the hotel. Our highlights:

There were Elk. Around every corner there were elk. Herds and herds of them. Running, sitting, eating, losing antlers, doing everything elk do. They were everywhere.

We saw 2 moose laying in a meadow getting snowed on. Ken felt bad they didn't have a house. My opinion: they're animals. They've never had a house. It's not like they got foreclosed on and now they just sit outside in the bare cold weather. They are built for snowy conditions. C'mon now.

We were constantly sharing the road with bison. I think they should put in a bison lane which would be much like a bicycle lane but for bison only. Sheri kept getting out to get better pictures. That made me very nervous. Yellowstone hands out a flyer explaining that even though buffalo appear tame, many visitors get gored every year. At one point we were pretty close to this big ol' buffalo and Sheri was making all kinds of weird noises to get it to look at her. And just quick as lightning she was 6 inches away from a snorting growling buffalo. His head was almost in the car. Sheri let out a few profanities and rolled up her window. It made her nervous to roll her window down after that.... until....

What's that grumbling down in the bushes?

Is that? No.... is it? It IS! A grizzly bear!

Sheri was out of the car in a heart-beat. Then dad got out. Then Ken got out. Am I the only one with any common sense? There is a grizzly bear yards away from you. A grizz can run 35 MPH. And you people are standing there snapping pictures! Are you kidding me? I stayed in the car for the first 5 or 10 minutes or so but the crowd grew to about 10 people and looking around I knew I could out-run some of them so I figured I was safe to get out. It was a beautiful animal. HUGE! We snapped about 500 pics and then got in our car to hit the road.

Some dip from California zoomed around us trying to see over our car to get a better look at the bear. He got what he was looking for.

He just about hit the thing.

The bear crossed the road and kept on his merry way. I think he was off to look for a pot of honey. Dad told me probably more like a carcass. Bears rarely hunt and kill their own prey. I wish someone would have told me that BEFORE I wasted all that time sitting in the car worrying that my family was about to get eaten by a bear.