Wednesday, May 27, 2009

In Memoriam

The event of the season – my family’s annual Memorial Day Barbecue – was an unqualified success for several reasons.
  1. The rain held off until the last moment, despite some false starts, so that everyone was already leaving when it really came down. It was like the French and fruit juice – when they serve it to you, it’s a sign that the evening is over.
  2. We had several adorable children roaming around. It was tremendous fun, even if I was asked when I was going to have one of my own.
  3. Lastly, I made a fantastic dessert, a batch of chocolate-dipped frozen bananas. It was the first time I had cooked (or, in this case, dipped) something that people wanted to eat. Most awesome? People even asked me for the recipe! (Thanks, Yum Sugar.)

I usually contribute taramasalada, a creamy Greek caviar dip that I am required, by law, to purchase for parties, since I live in New York’s Greek-est neighborhood. It’s true – you can check my lease.

Preparations for this day-long extravaganza were long and arduous, and involved me going on several shopping runs with my father, making multiple lists, and cleaning my parents’ house top-to-bottom until I collapsed on their living room couch. They thought I was napping, but I’m pretty sure I was in a temporary cleaning-induced coma.

When I saw this at Stop’n’Shop (on our first trip to the store), I suggested we leave a bottle in the guest bathroom:

We don’t have pets. I just thought it would be fun to make people guess who was using it, and why.

What my parents opted to leave in the bathroom, on the tray that sits on top of the toilet tank, was this:
I am not normally a conspiracy theorist, but I have always believed that my parents wait for me to come home to change the toilet paper rolls. I don’t know what they do when I’m not around, but I am always the one who wanders into the powder room to find one lonely 2-ply square of Cottonelle. I decided to send a strong message several months ago by leaving empty toilet paper rolls in both bathrooms with personalized inscriptions on them. They not only thought it was funny, they kept the one downstairs and put it on display for guests. And I still refuse to change the roll.

Cleaning wasn’t confined indoors. My father, brother and I ventured to the backyard to wash all the chairs and tables, which were covered in a winter’s worth of crud.

After so many years hosting the barbecue, we have amassed an extensive collection of plastic seating. I learned something new this time around, after we hosed them down. Wet chairs will turn to face the sun, like flowers:

I voted for telling people they weren’t allowed to move them, but was quickly vetoed. Some people just don’t know how to have a good time.


Sunday, May 17, 2009

You Should See Aisle 6

I love my local pharmacy. It has a good selection, is quite spacious, and I always find something unexpected.

This is how it is set up:

Aisle 1 – Hair Care
Aisle 2 – Makeup and Skin Care

Aisle 3 – Cold Medication and Vitamins
Aisle 4 – Deodorant and Shaving Supplies
Aisle 5 – Beef Jerky and Pregnancy Tests

I didn’t realize pregnancy cravings started the moment you took the test.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Four Score and 100 CCs Ago

Another month, another treatment.


Don’t get me wrong. I am grateful that my ITP is in remission (or, in solidarity with our economy, it’s in recession), but my CVID is not going anywhere, so I continue to get my IVIG infusions every 30 days.

I just started getting them from my immunologist again, now that my hematologist has released me back into the wild. At my first infusion following the conclusion of my recent platelet craziness, I was given Benadryl and…well, that’s it. I had been getting both Benadryl and a dosage of steroids as pre-meds. Now, I always get headaches and fatigue following infusions, but this last time was different. I thought I had the flu. I was cold, I was hot, I was nauseated, I thought my head was going to explode. In a word: unpleasant.

I called the infusion center and told them I wanted to go back to my old pre-medication combo. They agreed, thank goodness, and on Friday I’ll go in and hopefully come out with some headaches and the urge to crawl into bed, and nothing more.

So, in honor of Limerick Day, which ends at midnight tonight, I wrote this to explain my current state of mind:

There once was a lady from Edison,
Who dreaded taking her medicine.

She hid in her bed,

But eventually said,

"Will taking it make me feel better soon?"

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Cobbler's Children

When I was a kid, my brother and I always complained that my mom would make desserts for everyone but us. She brought them to parties and work events, and even sold them. People loved her desserts. They were delicious! Well, from what I heard, anyway.

As we got older, she got the hint and started making an extra portion for her family. So if she made a large cheesecake, she'd make a mini cake for us, too. Genius! And it stopped us from complaining, which was probably her true goal.

Now I have something to sell – handmade greeting cards. I design invitations and cards for all kinds of events. I get to work with people to create cards that bring their vision to life. It started off as a hobby, and now it’s a freelance hobby that brings in a little pocket cash on the side. Most importantly, I get to have fun and be creative.

A Nancy original.

I developed my skills by making cards for my family and friends. But now that I’m periodically doing bigger orders (I just finished 60 baby shower invitations), I don’t have as much time for one-offs for my favorite people. So they sometimes ask me (jokingly, I think) why I’ve given them a store-bought card. I’m glad that they look forward to getting something I made. But from conception to production, an original design can take days. It’s a process that I enjoy…but it doesn’t allow me to churn out cards every day.

And boy do I feel guilty about that! I actually called my mother last week and said, “Listen, for Mother’s Day…I’m not making you a card. Ok?” And she didn’t care. But I did. If you can’t use your creativity for the people you love, what’s the point?

Wait – I hear the call of the glitter, glue dots and paper trimmer. They are telling me it’s time to bust out a new card.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Think Pink

I saw this sign at my parents’ local supermarket, and I’m still not sure if I made the right choice by passing it up:

Sure, I could have afforded to spend three dollars in support of cancer research. And I do have a soft spot for a nicely grilled frank. But honestly, I’m not ready to bring home a random Poland Spring employee and some lottery scratch-off junkie.

I only have a one bedroom apartment – I just don’t have the room!