Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Some thoughts on New Year's Eve

Early in December I had a (TMI warning!!!!) breast infection that my fabulous doctor said was probably just--you know--a breast infection.  However!  There's an extremely aggressive form of breast cancer that manifests with the same symptoms, and so we needed to keep an eye on said breast.  So I did.  I kept an eye on that breast ALL MONTH LONG, which is why I now have a monster kink in my neck.

But whatevs.

Anyway, the infection appeared to clear up with antibiotics.  However, the symptoms reappeared this week, so Fabulous Doctor Mine got me in for a mammogram and ultrasound today.

It was interesting to sit there in my little mammogram gown, waiting for my exam while wondering if  everything about my life was about to change.  I realized then that I've been more concerned about the breast situation than I'd allowed myself to acknowledge--and that, in fact, my concern had (in certain ways) shaped the nature of this past Christmas season.  During the month of December 2014 I was equal parts melancholy, nostalgic and deeply grateful for all the small sweet things that are a part of my daily life.

Now for the good news.  Everything came back clean.  I'M CLEAN!  I'M CLEAN!  So that's excellent news to start off a new year, right?

Still, I want to hang onto that sense that life is, indeed, fragile--and its very fragility makes our experiences all the more sacred.

Monday, December 29, 2014

And now it's time for a New Year's column!

We've been having a delightful time here at chez Cannon, what with the naps and the snow and the boxes of caramels that have descended upon us like manna from heaven.

That is, if manna tasted like caramels.  Which would explain why the Children of Israel took forty years to find the Promised Land.  Who wants to find the Promised Land when you can have caramels for breakfast every day?

Anyway.  Speaking of food--here's this week's column.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

A Christmas column

The story of the Nativity has moved me over the years in different ways.  This holiday season I've been thinking about that moment my granddaughter, pretending to be the innkeeper, said that everyone was welcome to Bethlehem except for Mary.

Here are my thoughts about that part of the story.

Merry Christmas, my friends.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

A chat with Cary Elwes

Sooooo . . .

Cary Elwes passed through Salt Lake yesterday, promoting his new book As You Wish, which is a thoroughly charming memoir about the filming of The Princess Bride.  If you love that movie, you should get it.  I mean it . . .

Anyway, TKE was asked to sponsor the event, and when Anne told us the news, I immediately began quoting lines involving peanuts and so forth, and NEXT THING I KNEW, she asked if I would moderate the event.  You know.  Because I'm so moderate.

I said yes!  Of course! Who wouldn't want to interview The Dread Pirate Roberts?  And by the time last night arrived I was all aflutter.  I arrived early and Rob (co-worker and local awesome bbq aficionado) told me to go to the green room where Mr. Elwes was waiting, looking snappy in a black leather jacket, blue jeans and red Chucks.

Let it be said, the people, that he is indeed a tall drink.

Now  here's my favorite part of the story.  After graciously greeting me, he said absolutely the last thing in the world I would have expected.

Are you curious?

He told me that he respected what my father has done for American football.  And, in fact, we talked a bit about him and his career.  I won't lie.  I was kind of blown away that he somehow made that particular connection.  Even though I do write about him here sometimes, I don't often tell people about my dad because I don't want to come across as--you know--someone who tells people about her dad.

In the brief time we spent together, I found Cary Elwes to be intelligent, kind, well-mannered, interested in people other than himself and down-to-earth.   A true knight.

Thanks, Anne Holman, for the opportunity.

Friday, December 12, 2014

The Nativity as interpreted by my granddaughter, who's four years old

She's in the next room right now, re-enacting the Nativity.  This is what she has the innkeeper saying:


Poor Mary.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

A now for a little Christmas music!

I list a few faves in this column and would love to hear about yours.  Also, which holiday songs would you be happy to NEVER EVER HEAR AGAIN?

Friday, December 5, 2014

I love my TKE family

So, as some of you may recall, The King's English has an ugly sweater competition each year.  And, as some of you may also recall, I never win that contest, in spite of my best efforts.  You may read about my frustrations in one of last year's Christmas columns.

Anyway.  Today was our annual party, and certain people at the store were talking crap to me (I'm looking at you, Paula).   They were all like, "I'm working on my sweater, yo.  You don't stand a chance, yo."

And I thought to myself, "They're right, yo.  I don't stand a chance, yo."

So it was with a heavy heart this morning that I broke out the old sweater.  In fact, I almost didn't put it on.  In fact, I almost didn't go because I'm not feeling very well.  But that's another story, PLUS WHICH this party is one of the highlights of my year.

So I went.

And when I walked into Sally's house, I noted--because I have excellent noting skills--that I was the only person wearing a Christmas sweater.  Also antlers.


So then I said, "Did I not get the memo?"  whereupon Whitney fell on the floor.  Laughing.

They let me win, people.  My TKE family LET. ME. WIN.  It's a freaking Christmas miracle, yo.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Judge not

Because, of course, you'll probably get it all wrong.

Like, last night I went to a concert up at the church to hear a choir of mostly middle-aged women perform Christmas songs.  They were lovely women, none of whom immediately caught my eye as possible bongo drum players.


A number of the songs the group sang were old spirituals that required some bongo-ing and WOW!  The choir member who stepped up to the drum plate was about the last person I expected to do so.  She looked like someone who might write etiquette books as a hobby.  But sister wailed.  Not only did she play that bongo drum, she rocked it.   I'll admit it.  I goggled.

It always restores my interest in the human race when someone does something unlikely.

Way to go, human beings!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Lighting up

I love misleading headings, don't you?

My column this week is about putting up Christmas lights.  Since the Trib changed its website, I've been told that my column is much harder to find.  I suspect my web traffic is down, which depresses me a little in spite of my editor's best efforts to promote the column.  But what are you gonna do?

Meanwhile, I do have one comment.  From "Bob."  AKA "Ken Cannon."

Thank you, "Bob"!

Monday, December 1, 2014

What Not to Cook

This morning on our walk we engaged in a Thanksgiving post-mortem, discussing what we'll all do differently in the future, knowing full well that we won't.

In my case I toyed with the idea of NOT making the traditional Jell-O salad.  It's the one stuffed with blueberries and crushed pineapple, not to mention the cream cheese and whipped cream part.  Also, you top it with more whipped cream and bananas.

But it's a SALAD.  So it's healthy.

It's also remarkably beautiful and makes a lovely, shimmery showing on the dining room table.  People oooh and also ahhh when they see it.  The only problem is they don't actually seem to eat it.  I'm not sure why, because it's also very tasty.  Especially for a salad.  Maybe they hate to spoil the optics of the salad by digging in?  Who knows.

At any rate, I always have a lot of it left over.  So I put it in the Retirement Center for Food--aka "the fridge"--telling myself we'll get around to eating it eventually.  Which we don't.  So then I throw it away.

Will I make it again next year?

I hate to say this, but yeah.  Probably.