Monday, January 28, 2008

The Good Old Days

I was browsing through pictures and broke out into a weeping, sobbing fit. Remember green grass? I forgot we actually have a tree in our front yard.


Look at my son's mad longboarding skills.



Sunday, January 27, 2008

January Blues

I really don't see anything beneficial about the month of January and frankly, I'm happy it's almost over. Hallelujah!

I admit that I've succumbed to the January Blues. I long to see the green grass. I long to drive down our mountain and not have to worry about sliding on ice. I long to see blue skies, full trees and flowers in bloom. I miss flitting and twirling around a large grassy hill while singing the theme song to the 'Sound of Music'. What? You don't do that?


I read an article that claims that January 24 is the most depressing day of the year. There is actually a formula that is used to determine this day's depressing-ness. Here is the article:

Since this is the most depressing time of the year - I decided to read about some ideas to combat the Winter blues. Here are some of the ideas that others have suggested:
  • Plan a fun event or party to spice things up a bit
  • Exercise (of course)
  • Join a club
  • Socialize with friends and family
  • Get a spa treatment such as a facial or pedicure
  • Start a blog! (that's my own idea, actually)
  • Make fun of your husband (another idea of my own but it always provides a little glimmer of joy each time I do it)
  • Go to Bryce, Zions, or Grand Canyon (wow, I'm full of great ideas)

So - do any of you have any fun plans or ideas to combat the blues? What do you do to feel better? Please share!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Why I blog

So, lately I've been talking to myself about random things - at least more than usual. Why has my life become so eventful of late? Why do my kids have to grow up? Why does Todd sometimes gallop through the house on an imaginary horse named Guido? I'm also wondering why I have started blogging.

I've never been one to keep journals and I have made a total of 1 scrapbook. So what gives? I've meditated long and hard and have narrowed it down to 10 reasons. I shall list them now.



10. It's free

9. Occasionally it makes my kids smile - I'll do anything short of galloping on a horse named Guido or eating cottage cheese to get my kids to smile.

8. If I didn't blog - I'd have to find another hobby like cleaning my house.

7. It's my online scrapbook - I can brag about my kids and cats without having to use things like glue and scissors.

6. It's therapeutic to jot down thoughts about things such as cancer and weight loss and husbands and kids growing up.

5. It's a good way to keep connected with family and friends - especially when they leave comments or send emails. (hint)

4. I can post a blog from any computer which enables efficiency - something I love!

3. I suddenly have an interest in taking pictures - another new hobby.

2. My mommy and daddy like my blog.

drumroll please..

1. It's soooo much fun to make fun of Todd!

So there you have it. The mystery is solved. That is why I blog.

Monday, January 21, 2008


Forgive me for being a 'flake', so to speak, but I just can't believe how much snow we have today.
I know my posts usually only contain dialogue about our snow and my cats. I'll try to be more clever in the future.

But until the cleverness hits me... WOW - look at these pictures of our snow!

You can clearly see that a dent was made in clearing the front steps.

The circular thing you can barely see is our trampoline frame.

Darren - striking a pose by our mailbox. Darren is 8'9".

Our front steps were clear yesterday.

Darren's car before he took a broom to it.

No 'snowblog' would be complete without a picture of my main man. Here he is trying to find the sidewalk.

Hey, Todd - maybe now is a good time to put the house up for sale. Some foolish people actually like this much snow. Oh wait - you like this much snow.


Saturday, January 19, 2008

Road Trips and Family Love

Oh, I'm itching for a road trip. What is better than a road trip - especially at this time of year when everything is gray and drab?! We usually have so much fun arguing laughing, sightseeing, telling Todd how where to drive, eating junk healthy food. It's awesome.

I usually plan several minutes weeks in advance....always forgetting remembering important items such as cupcakes toothpaste and red medicine that puts the kids to sleep interesting books.

We enjoy the wonderful comments from our annoying brilliant monsters children such as "are we there yet?" "which explorers came through here?" and "sagebrush is so ugly" "golly, I sure do love that we live in such a beautiful state".

Choosing a destination always induces a heated healthy debate. My annoying brilliant monsters children usually choose some place expensive and touristy educational and minimalistic. We usually pass the time with gameboys and ipods songs and lively stories.

We enjoy the bondage bonding that we use on feel with our children. Upon our arrival home, we feel exhausted and relieved refreshed and happy to be home.

Elora's Senior Prom

Our sweet Elora went to Senior Prom. Senior Prom! I think it's more exciting for me than it is for her.

Okay, maybe not.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Yahoo Group

Check out this Yahoo group. This group is very motivating. It's for people who want to start running and/or change their lifestyle.

alt="Click here to join courage-to-start">
Click to join courage-to-start

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Bean's Entry

So, apparently Jodi (aka Hig, Higgie, Yicket, Showrosherie) wants me to contribute to her blog. At first I was concerned by this request because I thought becoming a blogger would mean I'd need to join a local dance group (and I am NOT getting sucked back in to that lifestyle!). However, apparently she just wants me to comment on things I never said (most of her speculations on what I'd write about were actually comments made by Ken, Dad, or Sir Archduke Frances Ferdinand).

However, since I have a new year's resolution to not be pushed around by older siblings anymore (mainly Barb) I have decided to ignore Jodi's request and write about something I'm very passionate about: Jodi's cats. Personally I think Stitch, or Baby Bear as he likes to be called, is cultivating some bad habits. I'm particularly concerned about his timid behavior immediately after Darren throws something at him.

Okay, I don't really want to talk about Jodi's cats anymore. I want to talk about change. However, I'll introduce the topic by talking about my first love- fast food. Wendy's and Mcdonald's are the reason I am overweight and probably the primary reason I am still single (slightly edging out the fact that I giggle like a 9-year-old girl whenever Night Court or Benson is on). I eat out multiple times every day and have done so for the past 15 years. I also travel about a week a month and during those weeks I eat quantities that Michael Moore wouldn't believe.

So now I've signed up for a half-marathon and I go to the gym every morning and I have a really serious face and I say things like "This time I'm losing the weight" and "I'm not kidding around anymore". I do this every few months or so and then I inevitably crash and spend a weekend sleeping on the floor at Pizza Hut. What makes this time any different? Benjamin Franklin said it's insanity to continue to do the same things and expect a different result. Am I doing anything really different?

The bigger question I would like to propose, dear 1.2 readers, is whether or not change is actually possible. Last fall I read a book by Alan Deutschman titled "Change or Die". In the book he questioned whether or not change is even possible after a certain age. He asked ,"if an authority figure you trusted (like a doctor) told you that you had to change your lifestyle or you would die in six months - would you change?" Chance are 90% that you won't/can't. He then cited several recent studies that demonstrate how he came up with that.

The book really upset me because I know change is possible. Just about every person on this earth that I admire has altered (changed) their life's direction because of a genuine desire to be something more tomorrow than they were yesterday. To do something more. To sacrifice something important for something more important. However, this book with its sobering data coupled with my recent 9,453 failed attempts to stick to any kind of a diet/exercise program really gave me a wake up call. Change is possible, but change is HARD.

My goal to lose some pounds is a very important goal to me. My desire to change grows every time I fail (which currently stands at 9,453 times). It's more than a physical goal for me; I want to be a person of discipline and commitment and I think it's only reasonable that my body should be an example of that.

I don't really know where I'm going with this blog - perhaps I should have stuck with Jodi's cats. I'm meeting with a nutritionist tonight and I'm hoping it's a positive experience. If anyone has any thoughts on change I'd love to hear them. I'm a sucker for inspirational stories. Especially ones about cats. Bean out.

My map

I plan to walk, crawl, elliptical, stairmaster, swim, treadmill, wog, jog, breakdance and hopefully eventually run across the United States. I'll post my progess on occasion.

Fitness Journal

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

RAI Results

I met with the endocrinologist today. He is phenomenal! If you ever need an endo - see Dr. Grua in SLC.

Anyway - he says I made his day because I'm doing so well. That comment made MY day! In short - he prescribed me a combination of thyroid medications, took some blood and sent me on my way! I'll see him again in March to make sure the dosage is correct and to have more labs. He says he will probably want to ultrasound my neck. It will also give him an indication about whether or not I absolutely need the radioactive iodine (RAI) - because my cancer was small and I'm a borderline case

So, it was great news! I'm so happy to move forward and stop playing the waiting game. Waiting for lab results. Waiting to feel better. Waiting for appts, etc. It's time to move on and put this thyroid cancer incident behind me. I will ALWAYS have my checkups and watch for anything strange - and I may have the RAI later this year - but for now - I'm moving on!

Thanks to all of you who have asked how I'm doing!!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Sheryll - US Citizen

I had an incredible day today. My sister-in-law, Sheryll, took the "Oath of Allegiance to the United States" and became an American Citizen. I was fortunate enough to attend the ceremony at the Rose Wagner Theater. There were tears, applause, and extremely happy faces. It was very emotional for the approx. 170 people who took the Oath.

Sheryll has worked very hard for this accomplishment. Today it struck me how courageous she was to leave the Philippines 5 years ago - the only home she had ever known. She arrived here alone and now has a multitude of friends and family that love her. She works a full-time job while raising three small children with her husband Ryan. Congratulations Sheryll!

Oath of Allegiance to the United States:

"I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the armed forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God."

Prior to the Oath. This man sang patriotic songs for the crowd.

Pretty Sheryll!

Ryan, Sheryll, Kian, Jerrin & Aerin (4 month-old twins)

Make a note on your calendar

Darren's farewell has been set for February 24. Would love to have you join us!

Aren't the Russians going to love him??!!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Guest Blogger

Hey, good news!

My brother Brian, aka Bean, is going to submit a post on this blog!

He's going to discuss something really profound such as why Alan Thicke is the center of his spiritual universe. Or possibly he will share his favorite episodes from the beloved sitcom "Joanie Loves Chachi". Or he may argue about why he believes that Peewee Herman is the greatest comedic talent of the 20th century. Might he possibly prove in graphs and/or charts that Springville is the drug capital of the world? Could it be said that Turkey Jim is just a figment of our father's imagination? Does Brian really think it was necessary for our father to "GET A BOX" to capture Tard? Could the incident with the christmas tree and the BYU football game have been prevented? Finally, what is the story behind Jerry Garcia and his blood stream?

So many topics and so little time.

Stay tuned!

*The above statements are not condoned or endorsed by the owner of this blog. And may it be known that the above statements are actual conversations that have occurred in the presence of - or have been started by - Bean.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Three Temptations and an Ode

After Thursday's blunder with the cookies, I thought it would be wise to eliminate the temptations from within my grasp. I have the self-discipline of a sloth and cannot be trusted. Nay, can never be trusted.

First temptation: Food
My food obsession knows no limits.

I started in the pantry. GONE are the potato chips. GONE are items that have a longer shelf life than say 40 years - I figure those items can't be healthy if they would still be edible when I'm in a rest home.

Then, I went to the store and passed the "Crap and other Stuff" aisle and hung out in the produce section. Usually I dash through this area at warp speed knocking over little old ladies in my haste. I actually purchased things like asparagus and spinach. Me. I bought asparagus. Some things defy comprehension. Now I need to figure out how to cook it. I suppose dumping a vat of butter on the asparagus is bad, right?

No, seriously. Right?

Second temptation: Finding excuses NOT to go to the gym
I have a gym membership that is gathering dust. I haven't actually made it to the gym yet this year....but I'm thinking about it!! That is a step in the right direction. I also packed a gym bag. It's ready to go whenever a real surge of ambition rears it's ugly head. Who knows, it may happen next week. We'll see. Actually, I think I have to wash my hair next week...

Third temptation: Not using Darren's illegal copy of Photoshop
I revealed in longing and wistful tones that I would love to have Photoshop. He casually mentioned that he has an illegal copy in his room. My mind started scheming.... He is often not home. I am often home all alone in this house. No one would ever know if the copy just 'happened' to end up on our computer. Well, except for both of you readers who now know my secret. So, I guess in a way I have eliminated this temptation. Because if I suddenly have a really cute and clever blog picture and heading with an especially fancy font - you will know I used the illegal copy. I suppose I will be good. DANG IT!

So there you have it.

Here is a short poem I wrote to myself. I will use it for motivation.

Ode to Jode
You say you want to be fit.
Then stop eating junk food.

Just stop it!

Deep and moving, I know.

Oh, hey Bean... I didn't mention my cats once in this blog. Oh, oops. Well, since I just mentioned them - here is a new pic.

And that is all she wrote. OUT.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

To RAI or not to RAI

I have a few really important things on my mind - it happens occasionally.

First - I have cookie dough in my fridge that is calling me names (pansy, wimp, &*#$, etc). I really want to show it a thing or two! I can just imagine forming the scrumptious dough into little tasty clusters and placing them ever-so-perfectly onto an ungreased cookie sheet and... Sorry. I'm just saying.

Second - I am the YW basketball coach in my ward and we had practice the other night. The girls didn't know anything about playing positions (guard, forward), the 3-second rule in the key, etc etc. I mean - what are schools teaching kids these days? Reading? Math? Pfft!

Third - Why does my beloved cat, Creature, seem so depressed all the time lately? We play. I feed him. I give him lots of luv loves. I have strategically placed baskets throughout my house because they are the only places he will sleep. I brush his beautiful black fur lovingly. Can cats get depressed? Is it the snow? Hmmm, worth researching. I'll let you know.

Here is my beautiful ebony-furred boy:

Lastly, and certainly the least important thought on my mind - should I or should I not have the RAI treatment for my thyroid cancer. Mind if we go there for a minute?

The typical protocol a patient follows when diagnosed with thyroid cancer resembles the following outline:

1) Surgery to remove the pesky thyroid (done that - check!)
2) Start an interim thyroid medication such as Cytomel (Check!)
3) About a month or so after surgery - meet with Endocrinologist (Scheduled for next Tuesday)
4) Stop all thyroid medication until after RAI - (This is where I have my hangup - see rant below)
5) Begin Low Iodine Diet, aka LID - (I can do this if i have to - though I may kick, scream, and throw snowballs at people eating Crazy Bread and/or other delicious iodine-riddled treats)
6) RAI treatment (radio-active iodine) - all of the above steps lead up to this treatment.
7) Remain in isolation for a few days and then limited contact with others for 2 weeks.
7) Begin long-term medication such as Synthroid
8) Have yearly checkups and labs - possibly more RAI down the road

Refer back to #4.

The simple phrase 'stop all thyroid medication' can have huge ramifications on a person. The optimal plan is to send yourself into a 'hypothyroid state' and starve the body of iodine preceeding the radioactive iodine treatment. Then, a person takes a radioactive iodine pill and remains isolated until the radioactive traces have been eliminated. Because the body has been starved of iodine, the thyroid remnants absorb the RAI like a sponge, thus, any remaining thyroid tissue is killed - which is a good thing since that is where the cancer cells were found. By killing the thyroid tissue that the surgeon was unable to get to - the chance of cancer recurring or spreading is greatly reduced.

I have no problem being isolated after the RAI - actually it sounds kind of nice. After all, I do have teenagers. It's the hypothyroid state that leaves me troubled.

Here are some of the symptoms according to
Fatigue, weakness, intolerance to cold, depression, WEIGHT GAIN, muscle aches and cramps

Also, according to my ThyCa group, one should not drive while in a hypothyroid state. Most people I've talked to tell me being hypo and then RAI are the hardest phases of beating thyroid cancer.

Okay, I'm being whiney. After all, I just viewed a website from someone who has gone through colorectal cancer. I would not want to go through that. I am grateful my cancer was contained in the thyroid. It didn't spread to lymph nodes or anywhere else. The cancer was also very small.

Which is why I'm having difficulty with the RAI and hypothyroid state. Apparently, and I'll know more on Tuesday when I meet with the endocrinologist, my cancer is small enough and was caught early enough that I don't technically need to have the RAI treatment, thus avoiding being hypothyroid.

Decisions. Decisions.

I'm really looking forward to my appt on Tuesday. So many questions will be answered.

So, back to the cookie dough. I self-destructed and ate one. Well, two. Okay, I ate 4! I'm so unworthy!! This can never happen again. Have I mentioned that I'm an emotional eater?!

Here's to a better tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008


Here's an update of my progress so far.

  • I have signed up for the Bryce Canyon Half Marathon and reserved the hotel room
  • I have been logging my weight and activities into
  • I have seriously increased my fruit and vegetable intake
  • I have cut down on portion sizes and have been drinking more water.

Drumroll please...

I have lost 7 pounds since December! It's very exciting for me. Please hold your applause. Really. No, really - it's not that big of a deal. STOP CLAPPING.


I'm struggling with energy still and am having a very hard time with exercise. I think some of that might be because of my thyroid shenanigans - but I suppose it could also be sheer laziness.

What are you doing to be healthy and get into or stay in shape? What activities are you planning for this year or even this next week? What are your weaknesses or shortcomings when it comes to diet and exercise?

I know this will be a great year and we can all achieve our personal goals. I only have awesome friends and family and we can sooo do this!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Fun with Fotos

And this is Larissa:

And this is Connor:

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Bryce Canyon Half Marathon

Bryce Canyon Half Marathon - July 19, 2008
Most people will be running - but I will be walking and/or crawling.
I know of at least three people participating in this event - me, Todd, and Bean (who started this whole thing). Who else is in?

Let's do it! Be there or be square!

Here is the link to their website:

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Self Disclosure

I broach this subject with trepidation as you may not know my secret.

First, some history.

It started back in 2001 while running. I loved to run back then. LOVED, I say. But it was at this unfortunate time in my life that I hurt my knee. Shortly thereafter, it was the kidney stones. Devils! I wouldn't wish them on my worst enemy. Wait. Hmmm. No…not even my worst enemy. But, I also started to not feel very well at this time in my life (we suspect because of my parathyroid – see previous blog). For comfort and to deaden the frustration, I would frequent the ever-delicious Farr’s Ice Cream in downtown Ogden. YUMMY! Oh the memories of their decadent, creamy, mouthwatering and oh so comforting peanut butter and chocolate ice cream. Yeah baby!! Just writing about it now sends a thrill down my parched throat. I enjoyed blissful ignorance during those days. I say ignorance because apparently ice cream has calories. Who knew?!

Let’s put this in simple mathematical terms:

Hurt knee + kidney stones = Lack of physical activity
Lack of physical activity + frustration = Gloom

Frustration + gloom = Farr’s Ice Cream (obviously)

Lack of physical activity + gloom + Farr's Ice Cream = Stoutness

Just trust me.

I can’t quite bring myself to say the 3-letter F-word. But we all know what I’m referring to.

Hence, the secret I’ve been harboring: I’ve become plump. Pudgy. Stout. Curved. Even rotund. My extra girth has made me, shall I say, less spry than I used to be. A little more sedentary. I’ve also found that I love fast food restaurants and they really love me.

As you can clearly see, it wasn’t my fault that I put on weight. (That’s my story and I’m sticking to it)! I've become very very good at the blame game. I've tried very hard to conceal my condition - black clothing, makeup shading, only creeping around in public during the dark of night. However, I can't keep up the facade. Something MUST be done to correct the situation.

Why? Because my extra girth has created other recent problems like high blood pressure and cholesterol. Sigh. Also - I can’t enjoy things that I really love like hiking my beloved red country down in Southern Utah. Actually – I can still hike – but with the speed, grace, and agility of a buck-toothed hippo.

So, I need some help. Motivation. Input.

I'm pretty sure I only have about 1.2 readers, slightly up from last month, but I really need a little more support than that (pass this post along to your friends and compadres). I'm interested in learning what you do (or have done) to lose weight. How does one stay motivated and away from ice cream? What programs out there will help me achieve my ambitious goal of becoming healthy? Any ideas for dealing with or getting around knee pain?

I've accumulated a vast array of books on the subject but I'm slightly daunted at the task of choosing the best plan. I know I have the internet right at my disposal - which is full of useful weight-loss information. And believe me - I've researched. But I'm looking for something a little more personal. It will mean more to me to hear directly from someone who has lost poundage. You will be my hero!!

Secretly, I'm very interested in running in a marthon. There - I said it! More than the fact that I want to look better is the prospect of being able to enjoy adventurous activities again. Running, hiking, kayaking etc.

Please comment, email, or approach me in person (unless you're creepy and plan to corner me in some secluded alley while I'm on one of my 'dark of night' outings).

Thank you! Here's to a healthier and less rotund New Year!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Todd's Obsession

My snow warrior....keeping us safe from the evils that lurk.

And his fearless minions....

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

A Peak into the Mind of Darren. (Read at your own risk).

I've been feeling a bit nostalgic lately. Darren hasn't even left yet and I'm already missing him.

I was browsing on our computer today and found a stockpile of his files - things he's found online and pictures he's 'doctored'. The following is a very small sampling:

Darren adds his thoughts to Larissa's heart-wrenching picture after she hit her head on the trampoline. He's always been a tender soul.

Darren has embraced this motto fully.

I'm sensing sub-conscious anger/dominance issues in Darren. By the way - what ARE those things in the background chasing this poor, innocent kitty?

Darren labeled this self-photo "Darren the pimp".

Darren's misfortune while living in Texas. He put dish soap in the dishwasher. This picture makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside while maniacal glee envelopes my very soul.

I have no words for this picture

Darren is fun. He is creative. Clever. Smart. Strong-willed. Talented. There were (are) times that I wanted to pull my hair out because of him (still do!)... because he wouldn't (won't) do things the way I wanted (want) them done!

  • One time I went outside to find him cutting strange shapes out of our shrubbery in the front yard.
  • He made an audio tape of himself spewing very hideous and scary-sounding monster noises. He left it under his sisters' bunk bed while they were going to sleep. We spent the rest of the evening trying to console two screeching and sobbing girls.
  • I found a dead snake in my freezer the very first week of my marriage to Todd. Apparently Darren, age 10, found roadkill he wanted to skin.
  • One evening Todd and I came home from a blessed night away from the kids. We worried about what we would find as we put Darren in charge. (eek.) We found that our entire main floor was riddled with a 'carnival'. Games, treats, puzzles, etc. Each of the kids had their own 'stations' of which they were in charge. Todd and I had to 'pay' to play each of the games. Todd and I went to bed broke....well, more broke than usual.
  • Darren's favorite stunt was hiding in the coat closet right as guests came over. After about 5 minutes, he would pound on the closet door and yell "Mom? Dad? Can I come out now?"
  • Once, when I had kidney stones, he rode his bike to the grocery store and spent his quarters on the 'claw machine'. He came home with about 5 stuffed animals of various shapes and sizes.
  • When he was 12, he mailed Todd and I a bill for his allowance.

It can never be said that Darren is boring. I found and kept this little poem when Darren was younger. It fit him to the T! Now that he is older I see endless possibilities for him. Darren loves the world and everything in it. The world is his playground. Go for it, Darren!

The Noncomformist
Every family has at least one: the child who will not conform, the rebel, the loner. As a pre-schooler, he's the one who gets locked in restrooms because he stayed behind to find out where the water went when you pushed down the handle, who gets his arm stuck in a piece of construction pipe, who rejects store-bought toys in favor of making tunnels out of old oatmeal boxes.
In school, he gets check marks for daydreaming, for not being neat, for not working to capacity. In his pre-occupation with other things, he is unaware that he drives his family crazy, arriving late for dinner every night and wearing his underwear (or dinosaur suit) to bed to save time in the morning.
As he grows older, there aren't enough weekends for his projects. In the garage is his "pumping heart," devised out of plastic sandwich bags, tubing and cake coloring. Cluttering the bedroom are the remains of his puppet show.
Parents are awed by genius, content with an average child, compassionate toward the slow learner. But the child who is none of these only puzzles, confuses and tries their patience. "What's to become of him?" they ask each other.
True, he is accident-prone because he daydreams, and he maintains a closet that the insurance company refuses to insure. But he reminds us that life is a precious gift to be lived to its fullest. And as Henry David Thoreau said, "If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is becuase he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears.
~Erma Bombeck