Thursday, December 13, 2007

Cookies Taste Better Than Barium!

It was still dark and bitterly cold when I left the house this morning. That kind of deep, crisp cold that almost steals the breath from your body. I’d been fasting since last night and headed off to the hospital for yet another test. This time, I had to swallow the chalky-tasting barium for an upper GI. I got to the hospital, slid into a parking spot, dumped lots of coins into the meter and headed in. I got dressed in one of those flattering gowns that are never quite long enough and always seem to be on the verge of a wardrobe malfunction. The perky nurse told me that I could keep my boots and panties on... so I am sure that I made quite the picture; a 6’5” dragon in a short robe and clompy winter boots knitting a scarf as she waited for the radiologist to arrive. I bravely downed the fizzy gas crystals and the huge barium milkshake, then climbed on the table. At least this time, the machine was on was long enough... though I did almost have a Janet Jackson moment when they told me to roll over completely to coat the inside of my stomach! I “vogued” all my poses and mistakenly thought that was it. The next thing I knew, they were giving me ANOTHER cup of the icky white stuff (though not nearly as horrid as the lemon flavoured battery acid stuff from two weeks ago!) and told me to go sit outside for 45 minutes to let it move through me.

Apparently, dragons have slow digestive systems. Every half hour, they kept putting me on a different table and taking another X ray to see if things had moved “far enough through”. After being there for over 2 hours, I scooted out with my johny shirt under my coat, my jeans barely zipped and my hat askew to pump more money in the meter. Had I realized I was going to be there for over 4 hours, I would have parked the van in the lot!

Finally, the powers that be decided that perhaps tall dragons needed more vile stuff in there if they were slightly taller insides too... so they brought me another milkshake which I bravely downed. By this point, the nurses could see that I was shivering slightly and brought me a nice warm blanket to put over my long legs while I knit more on the scarf. Thank goodness for knitting to keep me sane! I even got 3 other ladies hooked on the possibility of just picking out some cool wool, casting on 16 stitches and just knitting again for the first time in years. Heh! Heh!

At long last a very HUNGRY dragon climbed back on the original machine and let the radiologist maneuver the strange pod down to press on my belly and peer deep inside the well coated, frothy insides of the dragon. With a wink and a smile, they told me I could go home and get some breakfast at last!

A quick glance at my watch revealed that it was now 11:30 and that the parking meter had probably expired about 4 minutes earlier, so I scrambled back into my clothes and raced out into the cold. Luckily, the subzero temperatures also made it uncomfy for the meter men to be out ticketing people, so I leapt in the van, drove home, opened a tin and bit a cookie’s head off to make myself feel human again while I fixed lunch. The sun even came out amid some dark clouds, and I felt my mood lighten.

Cookies taste SO much better than barium. They even smile at you while you eat them!

Our family has a fond tradition of icing all our cookies at once in an evening of madness. I make up royal icing from the Bulk Barn mix and put it into lots of ziplock bags with food colour to give me the broadest range of icing colours possible, then we all sit down to ice them.

Being a rather OC traditionalist, I usually ice my sugar cookie trees and gingerbread men the same way every year because I love how they turn out. Wouldn’t Martha be proud??

Nick, on the other hand, has a unique style and sense of humour that is a madcap blend of Monty Python and Mister Bill... but colourful and lots of fun!

The girls always insist on decorating a batch of cookies for their homeroom teachers and bus drivers, so they come up with unique designs that are all their own.

Erin made this adorable reindeer from one of the candy cane shapes and I have already told her it is MINE... MY cookie! (I’ll consider it one of my Christmas presents!)

Icing all these cookies last night also kept my mind off the test today and gave me something to chew my frustrations out on when I came home at last! I even got Nick to pose in front of the tree with the trifle his Mother made before she left for Ireland to be with her sister for the holidays. It was a taste of his childhood that he had fun sharing with the girls and I after supper last night before I had to start fasting. It was good, but not as good as cookies.

Cookies taste SO much better than barium!!!