Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Alright, Mr. DeMille

Alright, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close up.

Mine was today. Channel 13 KTRK in Houston.

They did a story on the surgery I had December of 2011.

It was interesting. The camera man, Paul, of whom I was supposed to pay no mind. The reporter on the ground, Christi Meyers, staring me into speaking the next word and the next word.

It was all very quick and painless. Walk here, look there, stop, walk again.

It was two hours that will be shortened to two minutes.

It will be on the evening news Friday at 6pm.

I should be able to share it here on my blog no later than Saturday evening.

See you on the news!


No More Buts and Likes

I think I've figured it out. Enough to put into words.
People assume/feel/think I'm doing the adoption for show.
Just to honor the man who has been my dad since I was 18 months old.

But that's not so.

If I wanted to just honor him, I could've changed my name for a few bucks and a lot less hassle.

My first memories are of a mysterious dad who lived far away, and a distant step dad with a temper. I had five older siblings, and most of them would go visit the mystery man and I would stay home and play with my little brother. When I was small I thought it was cool that we had different names because none of my friends had a brady bunch family.

When I was 14, things changed for two reasons. The first is that I spent two weeks with the mystery man and got a peek of what it would really be like if I lived with him. It wasn't the green grass I had dreamed of as a child. The second is my step dad had a heart attack. This knocked him off the A-train long enough for him to slow down and for me to learn that he did have soft spots.

Of course, then came that age where my knowledge grew exponentially and surpassed all parents on the planet everywhere. And when my superior knowledge left me and I settled back down to earth, I realized I had two of the greatest parents and the grass was pretty green on our side of the fence. It's funny how that happens.

I was in the middle, not really belonging to either Surname. Belonging solely to my mother. It's what made my maternal lineage so important to me. Maureen Butler, Kathleen Norris, Margaret O'Meara, Bridget O'Shea, Mary Butler. These are the women I came from.

Yes, my step dad has been like a father to me my entire life. BUT..

Now he is my father. I no longer have to qualify the Step with a But and a like.

I've grown up, he's grown up, my mom's grown up.
We're not perfect, but the love is unconditional.
And isn't that how its supposed to be between parents and children?

This Final Judgment of Adoption creates a relationship between the adoptee and Petitioner and all relatives of Petitioner that would have existed if the adoptee was a blood descendant of the Petitioner, born within wedlock, entitled to all rights and privileges thereof, and subject to all obligations of a child being born to Petitioner.

The adult adoptee shall hereafter be known as: Susan Jean Cogar-Daniels

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Ms. Cogar Hyphen Daniels

I'm in Florida this weekend.
I am here for a court date tomorrow morning.
I will get up in the morning, have coffee with mom and dad, put on my pretty peach and brown dress, and tan heels, drive to the courthouse, and make my dad legit.

I don't want to get all mushy and sentimental; but I will tell you that tomorrow will rank in the top five most important days of my life. Just slightly behind the birth of my three daughters, and the day I committed my life to my husband's.

I will finally belong. All the way. No steps, no halves.

I've had several people ask me, "why is it" I am 43 and my soon to be former step dad has been my dad since I was 2. What difference does it make if he adopts you now.

It's a very difficult question to answer. It is so important to me that my feelings have a difficult time translating to words. Words are inadequate.

In fact I've tried to explain it here and I've deleted several paragraphs that were altogether inadequate. I simply cannot express myself. I will try again at another time perhaps.

Suffice it to say I am getting adopted tomorrow and I couldn't be happier.

Thanks mom, thanks dad.
I love you both.

xxoo -sue

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

New Year Foraging

Happy New Year.
New beginnings.
Fresh starts.

Twice a year I have a no grocery buying mandate in the house. The latest began January 1st of this year. The idea is to eat what is currently in the pantry and freezer. It usually saves us a weeks worth of grocery buying, which amounts to about $200 savings twice a year. We are currently on day 9 of our "Eat What We've Got" mandate. It is great for cleaning out the freezer and pantry and being able to start fresh.

Last night I made a list of what food was left and put it on the fridge door for everyone to see. We are down to the following:
  • frozen waffles
  • syrup
  • frozen corn
  • frozen greenbeans
  • frozen chicken breasts
  • cornbread
  • cinnamon rolls
  • cream of celery soup
  • jasmine rice
  • bowtie noodles
  • hungry jack biscuit mix
  • saltines
  • vienna sausages
  • pet milk
  • cheerios
  • frozen left over Christmas dressing
  • jar of turkey gravy
Seriously, I am thinking we could go another week with this; however, I am leaving for Florida Friday night and I am pretty sure they will be hitting the grocery story on the way home from dropping me at the airport.

Sunday I made a meal of brussel sprouts, 3 cheese tortellini with stewed tomatoes, green beans, and cheese biscuits. I also cooked up some frozen cut up pork loin and poured korean bbq sauce over it. very yummy. I love Eat What We've Got week!  Sadly, I am the only one.

Tonite we are having chicken, dressing, gravy, & green beans. mmmm.


Insight into my Psyche. At your own risk.

I love dreams.
It is very normal for me to remember 2-4 dreams upon waking each morning.
Many times when I lie down to go to sleep, the people and events from my dreams the night before will come to mind as if I had just come awake from the dream only minutes and not hours before.
Sometimes I fancy that my dream world is just another reality that I get to visit while I sleep. Sometimes in my dreams, I am looking at a realistic situation through someone else's eyes and I can't help but wonder if it is more than just a dream. In these situations, I've seen through the eyes of a male cop, a teen convenient store worker, a street person, and several more. It's always very realistic, not weird dream-like instances, and it's only for a few minutes at a time. So you can see why it feels so real.  I am not saying it is real, I'm saying it feels real. So don't send the men in white coats. Yet.

I was cleaning out some computer files and I came across a word doc. where I had written a dream from 2005. I'm just going to copy it here and share it with you exactly as I had written it for myself so many years ago.

I went into a room where I felt I was not supposed to be. There was a bed and I was expected to bathe a naked man lying on the bed. There was water flowing over the man and the bed. I tried to hide the fact that I didn’t belong and began to direct the flow of water over his body. I was myself at the same time I was him.
Then from the side of the bed, Jesus appeared and began sliding down into the water. I told the man on the bed that He was drowning, but it was too late. His face submerged into the water and His soul, like a breath, entered my body on the opposite side of the bed.
I was confused for a moment and when I opened my eyes, I realized I was in the future. The colors of my surroundings were brighter and clearer in color. I realized I was Jesus. I was Jesus in the body of an awkward looking teenage boy. I was scrawny, black-haired, with acne. I was working behind the counter at a five and dime type store. I was at the same time this boy and a customer observing myself.
The boy behind the counter had to leave the register and step outside…when he left the other patrons tried to steal what was on the counter. I stepped in to stop them from taking anything.
When I stirred between that dream and being awake, it occurred to me that Christ is within us all and we should remember that he is in others around us and treat them accordingly.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


January is cervical cancer awareness month and I am here to spread the word!

So here are a few things you need to know.

HPV is a virus that can cause cervical cancer. More than half of all sexually active men and women have or have had HPV at some point in their life. Sometimes it is harmless and clears up without the person even knowing they had HPV. Other times it can cause genital warts, or like in my case, they can cause cervical lesions that can develop into cancer if left undetected.

Only 40% of women ages 18-75 have ever heard of HPV. I am determined to increase this percentage.

More than 12,000 women will be diagnosed with cervical cancer this year. One third of them will die.

I was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2011. I've had two sexual partners in my lifetime, I only drank on special occasions, I've smoked a total of maybe two packs of cigarettes my entire life, I'd been married to the same man for 22 years. I was on the chubby side most of my life, but enjoyed eating fresh food from the farmers market.

After my third daughter was born, I ceased taking birth control pills, as I knew they made me a higher risk for breast cancer. And because I had been married to the same man for 12 years, I did not think it important to have my annual pap smear. When I finally got around to it, in 2009, it was because I was having discomfort in my pelvic region. Nothing too painful, but I was taking care of my husband after a motorcycle wreck, and I didn't want to be one of those women who neglected herself because they were caring for others. I had heard that story many times, and I like to learn from others mistakes.

So I went to my doctor of 20 years and he did a pap smear. Then he sent me over to the hospital that very day to have a vaginal ultrasound to check my ovaries. They poked around and prodded and he said my ovaries were fine and I went home. I never called back to see what my pap smear result was. Fast forward two years and I have vaginal bleeding during intercourse. I return to my doctor and he immediately tries to get me to a specialist. No one he knows is on my insurance. So I get myself an appointment with a Women's Clinic and they immediately send me to the Gyn-Oncologist.

My regular doctor faxes over some paperwork and there, on the side of my 2009 pap smear results, it shows that I had a bad pap smear, and they tried to reach me by phone and didn't get hold of me.

Never mind they had my mailing address and managed to send me bills. Never mind that I had been in the office numerous times in those two years with my daughters and/or husband.

You cannot count on someone else to take care of you. You cannot trust others to know what is best for you. You have to take charge of yourself, you have to advocate for yourself, you have to demand good care for yourself.

HPV can be contracted from one partner, remain dormant, and then later be unknowingly transmitted to another sexual partner, including a spouse.

HPV can infect anyone who has ever had a sexual encounter. HPV is spread through skin to skin contact, not through the exchange of bodily fluid.

Learn more about HPV and cervical cancer at They provided me with the facts for my post today.