Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Chuck's test results, that is. :D

Chuck's oncologist (The Amazing and Very Awesome Dr. Walker...in fact, I'm going to suggest to him next time I see him that he should have those words embroidered on the back of his white coat) told us right off that the scan looked clean, and I let out a long breath that I swear I've been holding for 2 months straight.

Chuck and I were walking (ok, skipping) down the stairwell to the parking lot afterwards, and I burst into tears and had to hug him before we went outside. I can't even explain the relief.

All of the lung issues he was having in December that prompted all of this extra worry were most likely complications due to bronchitis, according to the doctor.

I'm dancing in my chair right now. We just got back from Greenville. And we're both enjoying a celebratory Newcastle Brown.

Thank you for all your prayers and good vibes. I truly believe they help, as I mentioned last time. I promise I'll be less sappy from now on. It's just that a world without Chuckles is not any sort of world I want to imagine for a very long time...and I kept imagining it. And it was horrible for me to keep this all in my head for the last two months.

Anyway, stress gone. Go give someone you love a hug, dammit!

Saturday, February 19, 2011


Thank God it's February.

I passed my 5-year mark of being here on February 7. For the first couple of years, I didn't feel like I was at home. I didn't work, I didn't have my green card, this house felt like Chuck's house, not my house. Even though we were married. Just didn't feel homey.

Now 5 years later, what's changed? I have a decent job that I love, Chuck and I love each other more than we did when we met (I think), and this house is full of MY stuff...oh, and not only do I have my green card, but I just got a letter in the mail from my immigration lawyer that as of March 18, I'll be eligible for citizenship. I think I may do that. Time sure does fly.

But what MOST makes me feel at home?

The freakin' weather and my freakin' garden.

I was made for a climate like this. I got such bad seasonal depression in Edmonton every winter. Like, BAD. No wonder I didn't care for gardening, who cares to garden when it snows/frosts from September to May? May to August is beautiful there, don't get me wrong. They have a more pleasant summer than we do, because there isn't that awful humidity. I loved it.

But...well let me just show you what I'm babbling on about. This is what I saw when I drove up the driveway after work yesterday.

Nothing makes a girl feel sunnier that coming home from a long day and seeing daffodils waving at her (and maybe a penis or two, but I digress). Those were the first things I put in when I came here. The first mark I put on this house (actually the second, I did pee on the siding to mark my territory) were those daffodils.

The rest of my garden looks like hell though, I'm going to get out there and work on clearing out all the dead shit and the weeds today.

Those pansies are from last fall.

I may take a trip out to the garden centers today and see if there are any pansies that I can add until the weather really gets good and all the rest of the flowers are plantable.

In Edmonton, I wouldn't even be thinking about this kind of stuff until the third week of May. My friend Michelle told me it's -28C/18F there today. Another friend on FB said it's supposed to be -42 with the windchill. -40C and -40F is the only place where both temperature scales meet, so I don't have to translate.

It's going to be +22C/71F here. Yep. I think I've fallen in love with North Carolina.

For those of you wondering, Chuck didn't get his results from the CT scan yet. We're going to go up to Greenville on Tuesday and see his oncologist. I guess we find out then. I hope it's good news, since they haven't called us in early. Thanks for all the nice comments about him on my last post :)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Wonder If Hallmark Makes A Lung Shaped Card?

I'm one of those people that actually likes Valentine's Day.

Yes, I know. Commercialized. Holiday pushed on you by greeting card companies. Why don't we just treat EVERY day like it's Valentine's Day, why save up the going out and the presents when you can just do it on any old day???

Well, I don't care. Chuck and I go out on dates often (I force you all to look at the pictures as proof), we buy each other things for no reason, etc. That doesn't mean I still can't enjoy Valentine's Day and have an excuse to get dressed up and go out for a nice dinner.

Chuck and I have been together for over 6 years. (Nearly) 7 Valentine's Days spent together.

But Valentine's Day seems to want to be more about lungs than hearts.

If any of you newcomers to my blog didn't realize, Chuck's had cancer and one of his lungs was removed Valentine's Day 2006.

Since then, he's been for a checkup every 6 months to make sure it hasn't returned. He passed his 5 year oncologist's visit last summer, but still has to go for a CT scan every year.

Five years ago tomorrow is the anniversary of Chuck being the One-Lunged Wonder. And his CT scan is scheduled for tomorrow morning out of sheer coincedence.

I'm a little worried about this one.

I know I shouldn't be, but I can't help it. I'm pretty stressed out.

Well, anyway, tomorrow's the scan and then we go up to Greenville to see the oncologist on the 22nd.

I know I asked everyone last time to think good thoughts, so I hope you don't think I'm being silly by asking you to do it again. Where Chuckles is concerned, I employ every trick in the book to make sure he stays healthy. Prayers, good thoughts...they're all in my arsenal. Nothing makes me feel silly.

Hell, if I have to go out naked under a full moon in the backyard and do an Anti-Cancer Dance, I'll do it!

But I think I may wait for that until it gets warmer.

And until I lose some more weight.

And maybe until we build a tall fence.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

F.U. Snow

Dear Snow,

You will find enclosed a photograph that I took of my garden this morning. In case you aren't sure of what you are looking at, those are daffodils.

Daffodils. The sunny, bright flower that foreshadows the coming of spring.

SPRING, Snow, Spring.

I'm seriously thinking about issuing a restraining order against you. Everyone thinks I moved here to North Carolina to be with Chuck. He's awesome and it's a nice place to live. But what they don't realize is that I really came to the States to escape you.

You smothered me, Snow. When I asked you to stop coming around, you didn't listen. I'd come out the front door, and there you'd be waiting. Against the wall. Sitting on my car. Waiting for me in the parking lot at work.

And now you've followed me out of the country.

How can I be smug to my friends in Canada when you keep visiting me? They sneer and scoff at me when I tell them you've stopped by only for a moment. They don't believe that such a fleeting visit by you can be so unpleasant or dangerous.

I know the truth. And I'm not taking it anymore, do you understand me??

I'm in love with Spring now. You'll just have to get over me. Move on. Quit stalking me, or I'll have to take drastic measures.

I heard through the grapevine that you're going to try to ambush me in the middle of the night tonight. If you come by, you'll find me on the front step with a bag of salt and an ice scraper. Yes, that IS a threat.

Don't write or call,


Saturday, February 5, 2011

Beef. It's What's For Dinner.

It's Chuckles' birthday today. He's 49 years old.

Way back in November, I bought him tickets to the Robert Plant & The Band of Joy concert in Raleigh, on February 2.

Seemed like forever to wait for the concert, and now it's done.

But it was AWESOME.

I love when I can buy him a present that I get to participate in. Best type of present there is.

Chuck took the day off work, and we got into Raleigh at around noon. I had scoped out a restaurant to eat lunch at (as I always do, I love planning out our eating itinerary) called The Pit. It's a delicious, business-class BBQ joint. Their slogan is 'Everything but the squeal.'

How cool is that? :)

When we walked up to the place, following two dudes in button-down shirts and ties, Chuck asked, 'Are we dressed well enough for this place?'

Since I had scoped out the menu ahead of time, I knew that it didn't seem so expensive that a dress-code would be required. Chuck and I were attired in car-traveling clothes...jeans and t-shirts. I don't think we were that offensive.

We walked in the door and up to the hostess' 'lectern'. There were two hostesses standing there and one was very skinny and blonde. She was looking at us with a look that suggested she had just stepped in dogshit. And the smell had just hit her nostrils.

The smell was us, apparently.

I stared her down. She hesitated in asking us, 'Just the two of you?' with a resonant disdain.

Really? Were we that abhorrent? There was no posted dress code, and there was a very casually dressed couple next to us when we were seated, so we weren't alone.

The disgusted blonde hostess had some very, very, fake looking drawn on BROWN eyebrows. I resisted the urge to let her know that one of them was smudged. Just resisted.

The food, however was delicious. We had fried green tomatoes for a starter, with a surprisingly different (and amazing) lime-cream dressing with fresh basil. And I had an Eastern NC BBQ pork plate, Chuck had a BBQ turkey plate. Collards, fresh biscuits. Excellent service besides the bad attitude of Fake Eyebrows.

As for the concert itself, Chuck and I had never been to the Progress Energy Center where it was held.

It was a very nice venue. I felt very posh as I sipped from a champagne flute before the show started. In fact, I felt so posh that I had two of them :)

The place had chandeliers and everything.

The North Mississippi All Stars were the opening band.

I had never really listened to anything by them before, but they rocked it out. Talk about BEEF.

That was really the theme of the night. Beefy guitar sound.

They didn't really stay on all that long, about 45 minutes. But I really enjoyed it. Some dudes behind us showed up late, and asked the guy next to them that had been there since the beginnning, how the opener had been.

'Meh' he said. 'I wasn't all that impressed. You didn't miss much.'

I just about turned around and asked the guy if he'd been asleep. It was pretty damn good stuff.

I don't even know what I can say about Robert Plant and the Band of Joy except that it was amazing. I highly recommend catching this band on the latter part of their tour.

This is my favourite off their recent album. Remake of Los Lobos' "Angel Dance".

Any new band Robert is a part of usually performs a certain amount of Led Zeppelin tunes, and usually they put a new twist on them.

They played 'Ramble On', 'Black Dog', 'Rock & Roll', 'Gallows Pole', 'Houses of the Holy', and 'Tangerine'. 'Ramble On' was probably my favourite, I'm such a Lord of the Rings nerd and the song is all about it, in case you didn't know :)

Robert is awesome, STILL, even though he's 65-ish. Amazing charisma, such stage presence. Doesn't matter how old he gets. You either have it or you don't. He has it. Forever.

And the band backing him up was awesome too. I've sung the praises of Buddy Miller before.

That guy can RIP IT UP on the guitar. BEEF, I tell ya.

And he had Patty Griffin singing in harmony, which was a great sound. That girl really needs a sandwich or two, but she can sing her ass off.

The fun continues this weekend. Got to spend the whole day with Chuckles today (a rarity), we made a shrimp and sausage gumbo for the Superbowl tomorrow. Always tastes better the next day. Some good friends are coming over.

I'm totally using football as an excuse to eat.

It's going to be yet another awesome day!

Life is good, I tell ya. Enjoy the little things.

Happy Birthday Chuckles! Love you more.