Princess Ava

getting started

getting started

Ava turned five this past April, so as is the custom we started just three years ago when Kate turned five, we were all going to pack up and take the girl’s first train trip to Chicago to the American Girl doll emporium.  Stay a couple of nights in the big city.  Cost Giggy a lot of money. But since Queen Keely (Momma to the little princesses) has a birthday only two days later than Princess Ava, and her birthday fell on a weekend this year, Momma wanted to do something on her own.  Like big girls do sometimes. So we have postponed the big trip and instead I decided to give her the big birthday party Ava has been wanting since Kate’s pool party this past summer with the awesome “fish” cake that I made.  That cake was totally not awesome in the eyes of any professional or novice cake maker, but it was a BIG hit with the little people crowd!  And Ava wanted one just like it for her princess party.

Ava and cake

Ava and cake

I talked her into a princess cake instead, but I think she would have rather had the fish cake.  The poor little princess had to go into  semi-cooled layers of cake causing her beautiful dress to melt… just a little.  She looks about like the fish cake:  a definite DIY!

partying it up at Pirate Pete's

partying it up at Pirate Pete’s

The crew didn’t care if our little cake was melty or not.  They ate it the way cake is supposed to be eaten!  After they had played laser tag and climbed and tumbled and gamed and got tickets out the wazoo. But that was the second party!  The first one was the one with the castle!

Castle Ava

Castle Ava

with the drawbridge down

with the drawbridge down







The little princess at the party had a great time playing in the castle, letting the drawbridge down and pulling it back up, posing for pictures in the windows.

I’m not all that creative, but it turned out just fine.  If you are into those DIY projects, click on castle to make your own.

And happy princessing!

The Day of the Mysterectomy

For a month I hadn’t slept well (actually it was probably years) which meant I was extremely tired which meant I was rather anticipating that “getting-put-under” moment.  Sleeeeeeeeep.  It was worth going under the knife.

And, of course, I trusted Dr. Garwin.

So I got all gussied up in my hospital gown, hopped into bed, and laid bare my arm for the I.V.  It wasn’t long till I was feeling loose and relaxed, so I inquired of the little nurse if they had put something in the I.V. to relax me.  She just looked at me a little odd and said, “No.”  So I guess it was just the lying down… or the finally “getting-er-done”… or the I-just-can’t-imagine.  Whatever happened during the pre-surgery moments caused me to be so relaxed that I was downright silly.

It wasn’t long till I noticed my pastor and his wife walking down the hall.  I leaned way over the bed so they could see me and yelled, “Hey, you guys, come on in.”  This wasn’t a private room.  It was a long room with lots of beds with people in those beds awaiting various procedures or surgeries.  Jack and Millie had a bit of a surprised look on their faces as they came to the bed.  Maybe I’m not that friendly on a regular basis.  I know I hadn’t been that happy for quite a long time.

It was time to go; the big moment had arrived.  I was wheeled into the after-pre-surgery-pre-surgery room.  This was the room between the super relaxed room and surgery.  The room where they made sure you didn’t remember anything of what was to come.

I liked this room.  I really liked this room.

Sandy, Doc’s great nurse, had arranged with me for her husband who was in nursing school to come in and observe the surgery… as long as he brought me a shake later.  So all the players were there:  Doc, Sandy’s husband (I still don’t know his name), and all the other people who poke, prod, cut, sew, suction, etcetera.

We were shower capped and ready to roll.  I was in relaxation haven.

this soooooooo hurts

this soooooooo hurts

Until the next day.  The day I clicked the little button in my hand hoping it would just keep pumping that pain-relieving medicine into my bloodstream.  I had no idea that day those masochists set it on a timer.

At some point during the day Doc came in to check on me.  She stopped right inside the doorway with this huge grin all over her face.


“You don’t remember anything about yesterday, do you?”

“No. What’s so funny?”

“I told them you weren’t going to remember any of that.”

“Any of what?”

“Oh, you were saying all kinds of things.”

“I was?  What was I saying?”

“Wow, this is great stuff!  What is this, man?  I love this stuff.”

I know it sounds like I am an old hippie.  I know how it sounds.

Doc goes on to tell me how they all really enjoyed the show I was putting on; I must be a happy drunk, so to speak.

Last but not least was Sandy’s sweet husband who brought me a shake, a chocolate shake.  Who also enjoyed the show:  the cutting, poking, prodding part and especially the “I love this stuff” part.

It’s still all a big mystery to me though, and truthfully,  I don’t want to know how it’s done, what happens in the surgery room, none of it.  I’m happy with the mystery… especially the mystery of that forget-forever-pre-surgery shot.

Stirrup Day


a-trip-to-the-gynecologist (

Thank goodness my dear, sweet Dr. Garwin does not go into detail about the logistics, so to speak, of pap smears.

ride 'em cowgirl?

ride ’em cowgirl?

Instead, she just has me hop up on this table and start talking about everything I can think of to talk about.  And I can think of a lot of things to talk about… while I pinch my finger when that whatever-it-is hurts for that hour few seconds.

Doc is why I don’t really mind going every year.  And, let’s see, I’ve been going for over ten years.  Right around thirteen.  Right about the time my life fell apart.

Good ol’ Dar decided I needed a pap test because it was time for hers and she had heard of this new doctor she wanted to try out… so she made appointments for both of us.  She’s like that.  And then told me what day and when.

The big day came all those years ago and off we went.  To meet the most awesome doctor ever.  With the most awesome nurse ever.

Dar went in first (of course) and then it was my turn.  When Doc turned and looked at me with that sweet smile and that sweet face and said, “How are you?” well, she just shouldn’t have asked like that.  She probably wishes she hadn’t asked at all.  I couldn’t tell through all the bawling and babbling, but I imagine she went from this:

doctor with female patient

doctor with female patient

to this:



Ever since that day, on a yearly basis, she and Sandy have been my tell-it-to gals.  They lived through all the problems and heartaches over the years.  And they’ve shared in my health problems, too.  Making them more endurable, more palatable to the psyche.

Oh, yeah, there were some moments when I had the hysterectomy.

That’s for tomorrow.