Thursday, January 29, 2009

For Adrianne...

I received this post on my Facebook page a couple of weeks ago from my niece Adrianne:

"I was up early this morning on the computer and as part of my weekly routine I was reading your blog. Can I make an entry request. I know the blog is about the people you like but would you consider writing an entry about the books you like most and why you like them? Maybe an "Aunt Tami's Top 10" or something? I would find it very interesting and would probably print the list out or something."

I do have a knack for picking a great book if I do say so myself! you go my dear Adrianne.  I hope you like these books as much as I did...and still do.

The Book Thief   by:  Markus Zusak
Right now, this is my favorite book.  It really touched my life and I think about it often.
The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
After reading Twilight I was ravenous for a good, historical, "big girl" book about vampires.  I didn't want anything satanic or scary.  I happened upon The Historian.  It was great.  It's a little slow at the beginning but was a great mystery and I learned a lot about Daracula!  I know, it sounds stupid but was better than reading about teenage vampire love...way better.

The Red Tent by:  Anita Diamant
I loved the real life twist to the Bible story.
These is My Words by: Nancy Turner
Best romantic book I've read.  I don't care for the romance in regular books but this one was amazing.  I also, don't usually read books about pioneer life.  I really do think about this book everyday and count my blessings that I live now...when I can sleep in and not worry about feeding the chickens.
Sarah's Quilt by:  Nancy Turner
This is the sequel to These is my Words.  When I met the author, I told her I actually liked this one better than the first one.  It is full of sadness and misery and is glorious!  :)
Sacajawea   by: Anna Lee Waldo
1429 pages
I read this years ago but it came to mind immediately when I started thinking about this list.  It was such a great, clear, amazing telling of the historical woman who led Lewis and Clark across the west.
Beware:  It's super, super long!

The Thirteenth Tale by: Diane Setterfield
This is a fun ghost story about writing  books.  I really enjoyed it.  I gave it for Christmas presents last year.
The Glass Castle by:  Jeannette Walls
Another book that has stuck with me.  It's a memoir of a NYC writer who was raised in poverty.  Many times, this story made me cry and worry for the children.  I can't imagine choosing a life of poverty to raise my children.  My favorite story is about the rat!  I still laugh just thinking about it.
Angle of Repose by:  Wallace Stegner
This is one of those books that took me FOREVER to finish.  It was just so beautifully written and unfolds slowly.  It is a story of both the past and present.  It takes a look at marriage and how it fails and excels.  I need to read this one again.
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by:  Barbara Kingsolver
I love my Barbara Kingsolver.  I savor everything she writes.  This one was about how she and her family lived off the land for a year.  They grew their own food, canned it, and ate locally.  It is inspiring and makes me think about where my food comes from.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


This made me giggle.
(Found on the wall of the first grade class next to mine.)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Star Struck!

I'm a total nerd when it comes to good books.  I own hundreds (maybe even thousands when you count my books at school) of books.  I have met many, many authors.  
I've met Kevin Henkes, Mo Willems, Patricia Polacco, Kate de Camillo,
Shannon Hale, David Shannon, Sharon Creech...
and many, many more.

I do realize that the authors listed above are all authors of children's books.  That is, after all, what I know the most about.  The only adult author I've had the pleasure of meeting 
(until today)  is Barbara Kingsolver.

So, today, I had the privilege of going to a symposium at the Provo Library.  The keynote speaker was Nancy Turner...currently my favorite author.
Melissa went with me.  It was a wonderful time to spend with her.
We ate a J Dawg and a Sonic Diet Coke after the event.

Me (so excited) with my new BFF Nancy Turner.

Me telling my BFF what to do.

This is the book I'm currently reading.  It is the third in the 
Sarah Prine trilogy.  "These Is My Words" is the first.  "Sarah's Quilt"
is the second.

Nancy Turner signing my book.

The signed books.  I tried to get her to write "To my new BFF Tami" but
she wouldn't.  (Just kidding.  I wanted to but I didn't want to embarrass Melissa!)

Monday, January 12, 2009

20 Years Ago Today...

I gave birth to my second daughter.  Today my baby daughter turns 20.  I now have no more teenage daughters.  To tell the truth, I never thought this day would come.  I've been in denial all these years.  I have been so blessed to be their mother.
Now, about the birthday girl.  Erika arrived on this earth as a darling little princess and has been one ever since.  Her "birth"day was a wonderful day.  I was 
so happy to have a second daughter to love and care for.  She was 
such a good baby and little girl.  She gave Melissa and me a lot of laughs.  She always wanted to be a singer or a vet.  One day she asked if she could be a "vet AND a singer".   That girl set her sights high!

The thing I admire most about Erika is her unfailing love for her family.  She is loyal and true.  Now she has a darling husband and her family focus is on it should be, yet, I know she will always be there for me if 
I need her and I hope she knows that I'll be there for her as well.  As a perfect example, just read my post about Erika from my recent surgery titled "My Favorite Nurse".

There is no way that a mother can explain how much she loves her daughter in one little birthday post.  But, I want who
ever reads this to know how proud I am of Erika and how I wouldn't trade one minute of my last 20 years raising her.

Now, enjoy these pictures of this adorable child (I realize I left out a few years but I was overwhelmed by the number of  pictures I have):

(Yes, I made those dresses AND cut their hair!)

I'm So Done!

So, here's the update on my kidney issues...

Monday before New Year's I had a Lasix Renal Exam to check out how the old girls were functioning.
Said exam was read by Dr. Lee (my surgeon who order
ed the exam would not be in until the following Monday) who is a urologist.
Dr. Lee ordered a comprehensive panel of blood tests under the assumption that I was suffering from Hydronephrosis which is an obstruction in the ureter which causes an enlarged kidney (see the diagram below).

Dr. Lee sent me back to Dr. Soissen.
At this point I was getting ready to pack my bags for surgery.
Today I met with Dr. Soissen.  He was concerned.  I have 70% kidney function in my left kidney and 30% in my right.  He wants to try two more procedures before digging back in.  So, he sent me to Dr. Platt, a urologist.  He told me that Dr.  Platt would "snake a catheter to explore the bladder and kidney"  Ewwwww!
I went to Dr. Platt's office fully expecting to be examined and "probed".  Basically, I sat in his office.  He read my report.  Asked me some questions and told me that Dr. Soissen overreacted and he set up a meeting with him in February.  He'll put me to sleep and do some looking and repairing.  (Feb. 21)

I'm confused and disappointed that I don't have more answers right now.  I thought today would be the day but the saga goes on, and on, and on.....

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Dumb Dogs!

This is Mac (female) and Ali (male).  They are brother and sister and have been with us since the day they were born.  We love them. 
I wanted to include a picture so you can keep them in mind
as you read their story.

The other night at 11:30, Erika and Tyler came over to work on the Christmas puzzle laid out on our kitchen table.  I had already headed to bed so I asked them to just lock the door on their way out.  No big deal.

At 4:00am as I made my way to the bathroom, I noticed how cold the house was and looked down the stairs to find our front door wide open.  There had been a cold wind during the night that had blown the door open.  It had been locked but apparently not latched.  (again, no big deal had there not been a wind).

My first thought was not for the loss of our tv or computers.  It was "Oh crap!  The dogs!"  We have two boxers who love to run out an open door.  They also, usually, sleep in the upstair's hallway but have lately been jumping the little fence we put up to keep them there.  They, on the other hand, love to sleep on the couch!  Hence, the jumping of the fence.

As an example of how they love to run...On one of our visits to Colorado, we received a call from someone who had found them on Center Street in Provo headed to the freeway.  Center Street is about two miles away from our house.  Our dog sitters had no explanation as to how the dogs got out.

Anyway, I ran to our back door in hopes that Terry had forgotten to let them back in after their potty break.  (I know, I'm an optimist)  Of course, they weren't there.  Melissa woke up and we were both freaking out.  We could see their little footprints in the snow and KNEW they were gone.  I woke Terry up and he said we should wait for daylight when we could see them. Honestly, I was sick to my stomach about them being gone forever.

Before I went back to bed, I checked the back door once more thinking they may be under the porch for shelter (again, an optimist).  I hollered and whistled.  No response.  I thought, though, that I heard their tags clinking.  I called again and knew I could hear them.  Melissa told me to check out front (duh!).  I ran to the front door and there they were.  Two dumb dogs standing in the middle of the road looking like they had just had the time of their lives.  We were all totally shocked that they had stayed so close to home.  Maybe they had been running in and out all night long...who knows?

Let me just apologize in advance to our entire neighborhood who may have been affected by these two big lugs.  I just hope there aren't some funky looking boxer mixes running the streets in a few months.
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