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10.31.2012

BARKING SPIDERS


It is said that we flatulate an average of 1 to 4 pints a day.  I don't even want to think about how some scientist in some lab measured human farts into pints for measuring and documentation purposes!  For the lay person, that breaks down to an average of 12-21 farts a day.  That spread of numbers is affected by different things we do, or don't do, eat or don't eat.  Some of those 12-21 farts are passed during our sleep. Sleep farts are a result of our muscles relaxing combined with the normal workings of our digestive track at night.

Without a doubt some folks are just gassier than others.  If you ever hear some boastful, full-of-themself person say either, 1) I don't fart or 2) I have never had a disagreement with my mate, don't believe them.  They would literally be full of shit!  Farting whether awake or asleep is just the natural reaction of swallowing air, having bacteria in our intestines, and processing decaying not fully digested food. 

My ex mother-in-law hated the word fart.  She felt it was too brash.  Instead she used the word "stinker".  I never heard her fart but one time when I think one just slipped out.  Quickly she said, excuse me.  Air biscuit, barking spiders, butt bomb, fanny bubbles, fluffies, rectal roar, fart, stinker, gas, flatulence, toots, breaking wind or cutting the cheese...call it what you will, we all do it.

The lady in the store aisle I walked into recently most definitely broke some wind.  I walked into a wall of stink - the kind of smell that you cannot mistake for anything but human gas.  There was no one else in that aisle so the culprit was easily caught - HER!  Now some modicum in a normal person would cause them to hurry from the aisle leaving the stink to be owned by someone else.  She did not.  In fact, as I stood down wind of her butt, she let loose of another fart.  It was silent, smelled horrific and caused me to wonder if possibly she may need to check her pants for some skid marks.

Standing behind this store aisle farting woman, I was half laughing and processing the fact that she had broken the store aisle fart rule - KEEP MOVING!  As I was processing this misdemeanor charge that I wanted to levy against her, the third wall of fart stench hit me.  I fled the aisle to catch a breath of fresh air as she continued to appear unfazed by her breach of store farting etiquette.  What in the world!!!

Now sometimes there are medical conditions that cause excessive gas.  She may have had one of those conditions.  I do know that she seem unfazed to be farting to that degree in front of others.  I wanted to both applaud her comfortableness and yet explain the rules of store farting.  Possibly she didn't know?  I thought the law of public farting was indelibly engrained into us without it even having to be taught!

Once, when taking my Grandma June home from a family gathering, she farted as she struggled out of the car and shuffled to the house.  She giggled softly and said, "Oops!"  My grandma passed gas a lot.  It must run in our family.  It has been passed down through the generations much like our high hairlines.

My middle sister didn't abide by the rules of store farting either when she was a kid.  In our small town in the 1960's and 1970's was a Dime Store, a variety store of sorts.  Once in the store with my sister, when I was 10 and she was 12, she farted very loudly.  It reverberated through the sparsely populated and quiet store.  We dissolved into hysterical and uncontrollable laughter causing us to flee.  She had another episode in our town's public library.  Different location, but same result.

Mike Myers character Austin Powers said it so succinctly.....

"Pardon me for being rude. It was not me. It was my food.
It just popped up to say hello, and now it's gone back down below."


10.30.2012

THE UNABRIDGED VERSION



When I met Doug, my husband, almost two years ago I was 44 and he was 51.  Ok, he was 51 for one day.  Our second date was his 52nd birthday.  I hadn't dated since I was 17 years of age.  No matter what people tell you about dating again later in life, it's all a lie.  It is NOT like riding a bicycle (it all comes back to you, you never forget how to do it....blah, blah, blah).  It is strange, out-of-bodyish, unknown, a bit frightening though thrilling and a great lesson in speed reality!

I am a pretty open and free-spirited person.  And age has its own way of causing you to be more accurate in how you see yourself, caring less about being someone other than who you know you are, and fully embracing and accepting the person you have become over time.  But there is a sort of dance when you begin dating in the middle years of how to truly present that real and unabridged person you are without compromising who you are and without scaring the hell out of the other person.  I was right there when I met Doug.

On the second date with Doug I knew that he was the man for me.  I knew it like I knew God filled the space all around me at all times.  I knew it like I knew the outdoors was my happy place, that I could never stop loving my daughter, or that the expression of words was part of what made me flourish inside.  There was not a doubt, a quiver, a hint of maybe.  Nope.  I knew it clear through to my soul.  It was the oddest sensation and the most freeing experience of my entire life.

Big D, my great and wonderful friend, asked me in those first few days with Doug, "Nancy, have you told him of your diarrhea issues?  Have you told him you shop at Goodwill?"  She laughed between the words that defined parts of who I was.  I was poopy at times, and able to find a great outfit for $4.00 that had been previously worn by someone else.  Putting it that way made it seem so gross and tacky.  How could I break those facts to someone who seemed to think I was the sexiest woman on the planet?  Did I want to risk that title with that revelation of information?

Doug was anything but a Goodwill shopper.  He was a Banana Republic sort of guy.  Skimping on style wasn't his way.  Every time he told me I looked great in an outfit I giggled hard inside knowing that it had come from a Goodwill store.  I wondered if he would think me a carrier of the plaque if he really knew where most of my clothes came from?

"No", I told Big D, "I gotta find the perfect time to let those parts out!"  Maybe it was because I thought he would think less of me, it would alter the magic of a blossoming and passionate love.  Maybe I wanted to know that love had taken root before I let it all out.  And diarrhea just isn't a subject matter than manifests readily in conversations, unless Big D and I are talking then it is a fairly common conversation topic.

Eventually I told him the outfits he so loved me in were purchased at Goodwill.  Dress, $4.  Pants, $2.  Coat, $4.  He would at times try to buy me brand new things and I would squirm at the cost of things.  It was just clothes and I just couldn't see the need for spending lots of money on them.  He was beginning to see the unabridged and rough and tumble Nancy.  And, he loved me for it.

Diarrhea's disclosure came when, after being together pretty much non-stop after the second date, he saw my very frequent visits to the bathroom.  It was fully disclosed when I read him my humorous blog post entitled, "CAN IT GET ANY WORSE?"   And he was completely initiated into the world of my digestion when I had a massive bout of non-relenting diarrhea for 2 days.  He still loved me.


 
I have never made Doug go into a Goodwill store until this past weekend.  Though I continued to shop there, it was never ever with him.  I was looking for something to put on my dining room table that would be fallish.  A large iron candle holder, a big bowl, something.  As we entered the store I could palpably feel Doug's uncomfortableness rise to panic levels.  The clientele in that particular store is rough, economically burdened and hygienically borderline.  


As we returned to the car, I pulled an anti-bacterial wipe from the car door and handed it to him after using it myself.  He laughed, "So, even you wash after being in that store!"  I smiled as he began to process a world he had never experienced up close and personal.  "Yep!  I love a bargain but not germs."

I asked him, now that he had really seen where I have gotten a great many of my clothes, did he think less of me, was he grossed out by me?  "No, you always look great.  You wash em first, right?" he asked with a shitty little smile. 

10.29.2012

TOMORROW'S A NEW DAY, really?!!




Someone in my people circle has a catch phrase they use frequently in response to my strong, over exaggerated and partly humorous opinions and spins I sometimes dole out, "Don't be a hater."   His response is no doubt an over exaggeration as well as brushed with a bit of humor.

I do though hate cliches.  I hate them with a fiery passion.  Don't get me wrong, I love when the perfect words can be coined, whether spoken or written, that succinctly and brilliantly say something in a poignant way.  I hate though when a cliche is used prematurely, loosely, carelessly before time has revealed its truth buried in the presentness of the hurt.  I hate when a cliche is used like a pep talk to a football team in the locker room at half time. 

Words may be true, accurate, coming from someone far more experienced in the circumstance than us, from someone who has weathered the same storm and come out the other side, but they cannot fast forward our emotions, our reactions, or our pain.  That's why cliches make me crazy.

Cliches are no doubt said for a couple of different reasons; experience shared by someone who has passed through the fire, lack of connectedness personally to the situation so someone else's words have to be used, and ignorance.  The first reason I don't like, but can tolerate even though a person of experience should address the period of healing en route to the cliche, the end result.  The second reason just purely pisses me off.  I would rather you say nothing than to say something because you don't know what to say and feel you must say something.  Silence can be very empathizing when words don't meet the need.  The third reason is reserved for the emotionally deficient folk who use cliches like a form letter ignorantly thinking they are meeting the need.  They have no clue that in "ministering" with a cliche they have actually minimized and fractionalized the other person's pain and hurt.

While very true, cliches are the end result, the collective musings from having survived, seen the pain decrease, and had time elapse.  They are not the fuel for the journey through the circumstance.  Cliches by-pass the present struggle.  They, though sometimes meant as encouragement, have a hint of "mind over matterness" in them.  Mostly they are things we know but just can't feel quite yet. 

God created us with deep emotions.  He actually made us that way.  To have emotions is His design for us to feel, to experience the gammet of extreme joy to deep sorrow.  I believe without one of those emotions we could not experience the other extreme either.  Those feelings, those emotions, are God's way of connecting us to life, people, and ultimately to Him. 

To cliche away hard situations, the pain we are experiencing, is to short-circuit processing in our humanness the bigness of things beyond ourselves.  We find God in deeper streams in the difficult, the hurt, the struggle.  Right smack dab in the midst is hard, uncomfortable, excruciatingly painful experiences designed to be felt, wrestled with.  It's part of how we come to terms with reality, God's timing and our own disappointment between what we thought would happen and what actually did. 

I told my daughter recently, in the midst of one of her own deep streams, that I really didn't know more than about two things;  That as deep and fierce as my love is for her, God loves her so much more that it is absolutely crazy and mind blowing.  And, time is part of the healing process for just about everything in our lives. 

Cliches are a bit too trite, impersonal, over used to the point of losing their effectiveness and far too precisely concise for me.    Life is big yet highly intimate.  At times it is in your face and frequently, very messy.  Time's seasons help the hurt, the pain, and put distance between their intensity and us, eventually.  Until that happens, cliches are fairly meaningless.  Fairly is too soft really.

10.25.2012

AN ODE TO SKEETER



October 22, 2012
SKEETER



Though I never met you with a hug or a handshake, I knew you with a knowing love.
Though I never held you in my arms, I felt your presence none the less.
Though I never heard your words, your quiet voice whispered loudly.
Though I never looked you in the eyes, I saw the beautiful gift you were.
Though you never lived in a house or slept in a bed, you were part of our family.
I will miss you Skeeter.
You will not be forgotten.
It seems, I already loved you.   

G-Ma 


10.24.2012

JAGS, FETISHES AND AMATEUR ADDICTIONS



I get on food jags.  Literally I can eat the same things meal after meal in succession of days or months.  I'm not necessarily talking about eating leftovers for a couple times past their original inception.  Though I can easily eat leftovers in their original form or remade into a different version over and over again till gone.  I mean creating and making the same dish over and over again.  

I ate oatmeal almost every night for about 5 months.  It didn't get old to me.  I found great delight in it as I created a new bowl of it nightly.  Variation of toppings might have altered slightly from night to night, but it was still a bowl of oatmeal.    Maybe more accurately described, I can occasionally OD (overdose) myself on a single food item, exhausting myself sometimes of the want of it for a bit.

When I was pregnant with my daughter Hannah I couldn't get enough eggs or spinach. And obviously for virtually 5 months I had an over-riding desire for old fashioned oats.  Why we have food cravings, pregnant or not, is no doubt twinged with a bit of medical scientific backing.  Cravings can be the result of a lack or from an intolerance that creates an intense craving that actually acerbates the intolerance.

Before you think I just have a food jag problem, I do the same with music.  For instance, while painting my basement recently I listened to James Taylor's Christmas CD for 8 solid hours.  One CD.  Over and over again. FOR EIGHT SOLID HOURS.  I suspect that had it been Alanis Morriset or Neil Young I would have been unable to listen that long without the aid of a prescription anti-depressant.  My husband laughs that every morning, when I go to the basement to get ready, I turn on James Taylor's Christmas CD.  Presently I am on a music jag.  I will overdose myself with James' Christmas album someday.  Possibly around mid-January.

I also wear out my running routes or my exercise routines to the point where the joy of it all leaves me for a spell.  Don't get me wrong, I don't stop doing it just because the jag has run its course.  I push through the sick of it feeling until the joy returns.  My friend Big D must have so burnt herself out on her exercise jag that she just can't muster the fortitude to even start up again.  I'm sure that's what happened.  Really I think she never started and must be waiting on the joy before plunging into exercise.  Big D, JOY COMES IN THE MORNING!

I think I do the same thing with clothes.  If I like something, which is a rarity, I will buy multiple of the same thing in different colors.  That also means when I am done with my fixation of liking a particular clothing item that I now have 4 of, there are just more of the same to get rid of.  After unliking a certain blazer that I have 3 of in different colors, I asked myself why in the world I ever liked it well enough to buy one, let alone 3!  What was I thinking.

Dentyne, Altoids, Tic-Tacs, Ginger chews, Nips, and white Tootsie Rolls are just a few of the candy/mint/gum fetishes I've experienced.  My dad had a constant hankering for Sen-Sens (black licorce mint) when I was a kid.  I've thankfully never been afflicted with that hankering.  Many years ago I couldn't get enough grapefruit juice in me.  And it had to be Kroger brand unpasteurized not from concentrate.  I had a craving for it so great once that I drove 20 minutes one direction at 10 p.m. just to buy a half a gallon.  I proceeded to swig it directly from the container on the drive home - my own version of needle tracks.

I haven't had grapefruit juice in about 13 years.

 

10.23.2012

TO BOLDLY GO WHERE NO MAN HAS GONE BEFORE


I was a big fan of the original "Star Trek" series (1966-1969) which starred William Shatner as Captain James Kirk. Laugh if you will. A trekkie I am not.  He was young, good looking and wore a tight USS Starship Enterprise uniform.   He did not look as you might know him now from his stint as the face of Priceline.com.  I too now look different than when I was 25.  Different equates mostly towards the word worse when used in that context.

Long before his days on "T.J. Hooker", "The Practice", "Boston Legal", or as the spokesman for Priceline.com, William Shatner's character commanded the starship Enterprise to, "....explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life, to boldly go where no man has gone before".  That phrase was part of the intro to the show weekly.  I will spare you the details of the hokie-ness of their special effects, their overuse of aluminum foil, their over acting or the fact that my grandfather always called Spock, a character on the show, "hog ears". 

Lest I digress, the point is that the show highlighted the fact that they were unafraid of what lay ahead.  They navigated their path into things that were hard, scary, unknown, confrontational even.  I like that statement, "....to boldly go where no man has gone before."  It's part of my mantra, my ways, the way my mind and spirit operate.   I boldly went where no man has gone recently.

Being divorced from the background I have has been quite interesting.  It has posed none too few situations that have made me a bit angry, sad, hurt and disgusted in general with people's reactions based on their assumptions of things that are not founded, not true.   It has though provided me with opportunities to be possibly a bit blunt and to draw the line in what information I give to others. 

Over the weekend we were meeting our kids at the half-way point between our two places of residences to hand back the grand kids that had stayed with us.  Tending to two of the grand kids, helping them scoot two tables together, while the rest of the gang finished ordering at the counter, I was engrossed in their kidness.  I heard my name called several times and by the time I snapped myself from kidville, I looked up to see some former parishioners from a church my first husband and I pastored.  Jen called my name and warmly hugged me in shock of seeing me in the town she lived in. 

I prefer to state the obvious and tackle the awkward to get it over with, "Jen, you know I am re-married."  I didn't say it in a questioning way, but in a reassuring think you probably know but if not now you do sort of way.  Quickly I followed up with, "Over there is Doug, my husband of going on 2 years, our 3 grand kids and daughter and son-in-law."  I left her no room to wonder or question or to assume any more than I figured she had been doing.

As her and I got caught up with her now 4 kids under the age of 6, her husband, one of my former worship leaders, talked on with the friends they were dining with.  She still couldn't figure out why I was there when I lived in Georgia.  I laughed, "Georgia?  I don't live in Georgia.  Never have."  She shook her head, as if she were sifting through information she had heard and had taken as the gospel truth.  "Well, I was told you lived in Georgia," she mused, continuing to be confused between reality, rumors and misinformation and the collison of them right in front of her.

She asked how I was, commented on the fact that I needed to eat more when she hugged me (who does that!) and seemed to be confused between things she had heard and the realness of me standing there in the flesh doing well and living in the area.  After a few minutes, I bid her farewell warmly, genuinely always loving Jen's spirit.  Her husband had a difficult time acknowledging my presence and very coldly and aloofishly turned away after I said goodbye to him.  The piousness ricocheted off him but I did not let it penetrate me.  I knew the truth.  He did not.

Recently I met up with a couple from another church my ex and I had served some 25 years ago.   She asked me point blank, "What happened?  Tell me what happened that caused a divorce."  My response to her came relatively easily and boldly, "No, I will not.  It is a private matter and I have gone on with my life.  It is something that we decided we would not discuss with others.  So, I will not say why."  She smiled and responded, "Ok.  I can respect that.  And I suppose, good for you."   Did I cause the rumor mill to keep perpetuating itself by not divulging information?  Maybe.  Did I face an unreasonable and out of line question squarely by drawing a line?  Yes.

10.17.2012

I GOTS TO KNOW!



My sweet, sassy, funky 80 year old great aunt tells me I asked her, when I was a young child, what size her boobs were.  Though I do not recall the actual question or interchange, I don't doubt for one minute if I thought it and wanted to know it, that I asked it.   Why I wanted to know that escapes me now.  Maybe curiosity, trying to size up my own lack in comparison, a bit of my Pippy Longstocking ways.  I don't know.  They were 40 Ds. Hers, not mine:)

I once asked an 85 year old lady if she could tell me what she really felt like inside her head.  How did she see herself?  Did she know she was old?  Is that how aging works, knowing age is literal, but feeling somewhat separated from it?  Who is that person in the mirror kind of thing?  She told me that inside her head was all the thoughts she thought at 25.  She was that same person.  It seemed to her the mirror lied on the visuals and she couldn't connect to what she saw but what she felt inside. 

A friend of mine years ago shared her secret with me.  Something that she had never said out loud to anyone.  She had never said it because if she never said it she could convince herself it was not real, that it did not happen.  Her dad had sexually abused her.  Now in her forties, she let out a deep painful secret, faced it down and acknowledged the trauma it had caused.  It took the sting out a bit.  Carrying secrets is exhausting.  I applauded her bravery.  She had crested the hill.

Sitting on the edge of a hospital bed with a dying woman I asked her what it was like to know the end of life was drawing to a close.  I mean we all know that someday our time to exit life to death will occur, but it is obscure and distant.  Hers was in plain sight and near.  She said clarity came, vision, peace and perspective that she had not had in that depth till now.  It was freeing she said.  It gave her the ability to let go, gain understanding and lose all ability to have to control anything.  She had found the magic ingredient to life - letting loose of it all.

If nothing ever changes, if she can't be different, can you love her and stay married?  I asked the uncomfortable, that's-what-it-comes-down-to-it question.  Scrape it all away, analyze the hell out of it if you want, but a choice had to be made.  Move closer or move away.  Those were the facts.  Facts can be highly freeing.  As he sat across the restaurant table he appreciated the honest exchange, the acknowledgement of the color gray and all that it involved.  He stayed married.   At last count, 56 years.

I once asked a friend about when they were young and went through puberty (they were long past it!).  How did a boy navigate the developing body waters and exploration?  I had only sisters so the knowledge I had about a sexually developing body and exploration came from what I experienced and what I talked about with other women.  I wanted to know a boy's perspective from a backwards glance as an adult man.  It prompted him to pen the funniest oped about masturbation I have ever read.  Wanting to know something gave me a better understanding, but mostly one hysterical laughing session.

Textbooks are too technical for me to really understand.  I want to know stuff beyond just learning.  I want to know the feel, the experience, the reaction.  People are unbelievably interesting.  Why does Cee Lo Green wear big white glasses and why doesn't he join Weight Watchers?

10.15.2012

MY FOUR ALARM FIRE



I heard it again today, one of my pet peeve statements.  It can be easily cloaked in our humanness no matter how hard we try.  Even the statement itself is a declaration of us trying to take ourselves out of the picture.  I think more times than not though, it covers or deflects our human misbehaviours of self and tries to put God where they are.

She said it again today, "I prayed about it over the weekend."  I fought the urge to throw up, rant back, chastise her smug covering her curt, selfish, twisted and inconsiderate ways by saying she prayed about itMy ass! was what screamed loudly in my head.  She prayed her point of view to God and then acted on her view, not God's.  Period.

God is not simple like we are.  I mean really, I can't call the Creator of the world and all the systems that are self-sustaining in it, simple.  He is not a simpleton.  He is though, clear in His character, the under-riding things that He cherishes.  There is nothing selfish about Him. He doesn't posture Himself to get the notice, the accolades. He doesn't need or choose to do so.  That would diminish what is easily seen on its own.   He just is all that without exerting self perpetuating ways into the mix.  So the opposite of us! 

Do not use the phrase, I prayed about it, as what you think is the magic ingredient to proceed with selfish or wrong approaches to things, situations or confrontation.  My anger surges to a level that I believe might launch me instantly into a full blown incapacitating stroke when I hear it most of the time.  I should have resorted to Lamaze breathing exercises to bring myself back to a calm center.  I did not..  The fire raged internally.

God had nothing to do with her behavior today or of late.  He also didn't champion her wrong approach just because she prayed about it.  Why do you need to pray if you think God's answer to your prayer is for you to spew upon others?   How is that God in any way shape or form?  Do not dirty the I've prayed about it phrase by inserting self and using prayer more as a rabbit's foot or a ritual requirement than its true purpose. 

I have had my fill of Christian people at times. Myself included.  Today I was holiday meal stuffed with my pants unbuttoned!!!  She had a disconnect between her behavior, approach, reaction and declaration of her prayer. 

The saying hints to it..... PRAYER CHANGES THINGS.   The biggest thing it is intended to change is us!  It's in prayer that we should want to see our motives, have them laid bare, and be changed, re-routed.  Prayer should not be easy or comfortable always.  It wasn't for Jesus at times as he poured out self to His Father, God. 

Without that lady, save your prayers!

10.11.2012

FOLLICULAR FOLLIES


This week a new client came in the office.  I introduced myself to her and her husband.  She looked at me and said, "You look familiar.  Like I know you from somewhere.  Do you come in my hair salon?"   I said, "Based upon the way my hair looks you no doubt think I NEED to come to your hair salon!"   She roared in laughter.

Her and I conversed about what it's like to be a hair stylist.  Do you constantly look at people and think they need a different style or you wish you could get your hands on their head, I asked her.  She laughed and said that church was the worst for her.  Sitting still for an extended period she gets distracted by looking at the back of people's hair.  Which she says, is very neglected on most people!  I told her that God needed her to sit all the way up front to pay better attention.

I hate doing my hair.  It is just a thing we (ok mostly women as men have virtually no hair or bionic hair that requires minimum care) ladies have to mess with daily.  We also have to shave our legs and underarms.  Let me rephrase that.  I shave my legs and underarms daily.  I like smooth prickly free skin.  But even if I didn't, there isn't much hair there thanks to the genetics of both of my grandmothers.  Still though, I do it daily.  My hair, well that is another story.

We do always seem to want what we don't have.  Straight hair people long for curls and body.  People with body or curls want that sleek straight look.  Hair in and of itself is telling of our quest to never be totally satisfied with what we have!  Just ask my Aunt Dee, a hair stylist all my growing up years, about all the hair styles I wanted!  Then there are people like me, who have body and wave and yet a couple of places on my head (forehead area) lack the body the rest of my hair has. 

If I do nothing to my hair but wash it and let it dry, it has a bit of a disheveled wave but very thin and fine.  I blow it dry to give it texture and then add a couple of products to give the allusion of thickness.  My dad's hair is the same way.  I can remember growing up that he always used shampoo to volumize and thicken his fine hair. His bathroom cupboard looked like a drugstore with the latest and greatest thinning hair products.  Thanks Dad for giving me your hair!

Due to some health issues, my hair has thinned in the past 10 years.  It continues to fall out and break daily.  I try not to overly mess with my hair in an attempt to extend its fading lifespan.  I don't wash my hair every day.  I fear that if I did, by the end of a week of daily washings, I would need Bosley hair implants.  I probably could use them in the forehead region as it is!!

On some non-wash days I put my hair up with a very soft clip, create a 46 year old cheerleader ponytal (that's what my daughter says about it!), or add a little baby powder to the bangs and temples, refluff and touch up with the curling iron.  My famous last words while standing in the mirror first thing in the morning are, "I think I can save my hair today."   Saving means not having to wash it and start from scratch in creating a style.

Now mind you, I don't go around telling the world I don't daily wash my hair, only a few lady co-workers, friends and family know.  For fear of you getting the wrong image of what it looks like when I don't wash it, or feeling like I am disgusting, it's not greasy or messy but actually very dry. 

Once years and years ago we took a group of high school kids on a trip to Florida.  It was a mixed ethnic bag of kids.  The black girls, who were genetically given coarse dry hair, would take regular olive oil and rub in their hair to give it moisture and make it smooth.  They giggled when I told them I make stir fry with that same oil!  Now I'm thinking my overly dry hair could use a splash of olive oil!

I have to wash my hair this morning as it's been two days since its last shampoo.  I have to wash it too because I wore it up yesterday and it just can't be repaired.  I will go into temporary mild panic as I prepare to blow dry it and handfuls of it fall out.  I told my husband recently that I wished he could have known me when I had lots of hair.  He laughed and said he wished I could have known him when he had lots of hair too! 

10.10.2012

LOVE'S ENIGMA


It amazes me how my heart is so filled with love for you, came the text from Doug this morning as he drove to the airport to catch a flight for business.  I smiled and cocked my head in amazement at his words.  Almost two years after meeting this man I continued to be blown away by his presentness to me.  Though time has sped forward, his love for me has never waned from day to day.  It was just as fresh, new and exciting as it was the day I met him for dinner for the first time.

You are the best part of me, I texted back.  He was indeed the best part of me.  He made me better because he loved me so fully and completely.  In doing that, he connected to all things that made up who I was.  I loved him for so many things he was.  I loved that he was smart and sharp, intellectual, light hearted, witty, big minded, creative, innovative, inviting, a can-do sort of person.  I loved that I could make him laugh easily, that he always showed his love in visible ways, that his touch was constant and natural. 
 
I love that you are very much a woman and can easily live and move as such, yet you can put on old clothes and tear off a room from the house.  I love that you can be smart and intellectual and in the next breath irreverent, funny or silly.  It is all those things that make you who you are and I love them all....his words floated in my head and landed in my heart.  That was it.  I mean really, that was what I had missed all my life - love that met me where I was and celebrated, connected to it and understood all the pieces of me. 
 
The day went on with other text touches as he landed in Chicago, then LA and finally Phoenix.  I thought about what a difference this man had made in my life.  How I truly felt like a team, like I had a partner, a mate.  He got me, knew me, got filled up with all the pieces that seemed mismatched in me.  It was a mystery to me.  I could not dice it up, logic it into proportions or figure it out.  And, I really didn't need to.  This man, this love was an enigma that I got to live every day.  
 
I went down to the basement to run some miles on the treadmill tonight.  The house was quiet and my routine was altered without Doug being home.  As I turned on the fan mounted on the ceiling directly in front of the treadmill I felt loved.  I picked up the phone and texted Doug. . . . .
 
I have always wanted a man who could mount a fan from the ceiling in front of the treadmill and be able to read my mind and know that doing so was both possible and very, very logical.
 
That was why I loved him so.       

10.09.2012

MY FRONT ROW SEAT



I left the house this morning to run while it was still dark.  Not that pitch black period before dawn, but when slowly the darkness is changing itself over to light.  It's a magical time of the day for me. Though I'm sure most people would say just the opposite.  Out at that time of the day I feel privy to the world as it tries to wake up.  The quietness, the feel of the stillness of the air, the obscurity and anonymity I get from that is re-charging.  It's a front row seat in a totally empty venue of spectacularness.   

Since I had on dark colors, I attached an LED flashing light to my long sleeved three-quarter zip shirt.  It is my version of a fluorescent triangular slow moving vehicle sign.  I set the light pattern to a slow flash as opposed to a fast and crazy flash pattern that might have possibly given me or an oncoming car driver a seizure. 

Down the sidewalk to the street I ran.  I felt that rush of excitement to be outside in the quiet moments before the world takes off in full motion.  Those conditions always make the run easier, better and far more enjoyable.  I ran past the same things, familiar things.  The house on the corner a couple blocks down that always decorates for every season showed its pumpkins and corn stalks.  The same junk remained right where it was yesterday at the house at about the mile mark.  In fact, that same crap stayed comfortably untidily strewn about day after day, month after month and now year after year.  Its trashy sight made me smile at the things on my route that remain the same from day to day.

I ran through piles of leaves raked to the edge of the street for pickup up by the city.  Fall was definitely dominating the landscape.  There were bright reds, translucent yellows and mauves that were strikingly beautiful.  As the sky lightened I could see the trees were thinning out their leaves marching us toward the starkness of November.  I felt a coziness inside at the beauty and the changing of seasons.  Beauty comes in all different forms.

I ran by a house recently sold to what appeared to be someone who worked for the Sheriff's department.  It was good to have someone like that in the neighborhood.  Maybe I should make some cookies and go introduce myself.  I ran by the house of the assistant deputy coroner of the county whose kids call me the fence lady because they watched a project we did evolve.  I felt a connectedness to those small reminders of community.

There was the house that always had some sort of lights up for every holiday season and even if there wasn't a holiday season.  I wondered if her husband liked the lights or put up with the weird gaudiness that made their house very distinguishable.  Recently at one of the houses at the end of my street someone had hung himself.  I didn't know which house for sure, but randomly prayed for them as I ran by that grouping of houses.

As I ran I watched the earth come to life.  The sky grew brighter.  People began to back out of their driveways heading to work.  Kids began the walking trek to the elementary school just up the street.  The day was at the starting line now.  I had the privilege of watching it start its motion as the starting gun fired for yet another day.  I thanked God as I ran back up the driveway for the privilege and gift of a morning run.

10.08.2012

EXHAUSTION, a state of mind and body



I like feeling a bit stretched - having a tad bigger palate in life in front of me than my hands can hold.  It pushes me.  I actually feel most like myself if something or other in my body is a bit owie from some sort of overwork.  Like my abs today for instance.  I did double the ab routine I normally do last night thus creating pain when inhaling or exhaling deeply, bending over, trying to practice good posture habits or even cough.  Exhausting those muscles make for forward progress.  That type of exhaustion is a necessary part of changing your body structure. 

I too like feeling that something I need to know and understand is just outside of my reach, my know, my come-easy-to-me abilities.  It causes me to think harder, focus, research and plunge ahead into unknown waters.  A bit exhilarating, though if extended for too long, exhausting.  Once in awhile I like to expend all I got plus some I didn't think I had to reach a place I thought I might not be able to get to.  That exhaustion is satisfying and invigorating.

I very much like physical home improvement projects that require some hard work and stamina to accomplish changing or upgrading the aesthetics of where I abide daily.  There is a deep satiation in making my house into a home that reflects who I am.  In creating an environment that allows me to feel in tune and restored.  Sometimes those projects get tedious and long.  I can get exhausted from the upheaval they cause in diminished relaxation time and increased chaos in the surroundings I am trying to live in.  That exhaustion is temporary and the results reap huge and lasting benefits that I can enjoy for years and years to come.

I many times also like time constraint types of exhaustion.  I find a bit of a thrill on blueberry hill from seeing how much I can cram into a day, a week, and sometimes in the time frame before I walk out the door in the morning.  Call it beating the clock, a race against time, but I enjoy a bit of frenetic cramming from time to time.  It can create exhaustion though when I refuse to slow down or pace myself and continue to maximize the minutes to their full potential and beyond.  That type of exhaustion is a completed a daily marathon kind of exhaustion and it can be easily addictive.

I also like temporary chaos periods.  Those times where you are put outside of your normal routine by people or circumstances.  Holidays and extended family periods fall into that category.  There is an electricity, an energy, that is found in Thanksgiving and Christmas, visits with kids, overnight weekends with grand kids, dog sitting one of the kids' dogs, travelling out of town, quick trips for business.  Those times though can leave one in a bit of a state of exhaustion.  It's hard to figure how things, even people and things we love, can leave us whipped and exhausted.  But they can and do! 

I'm not sure why, but as I have aged I need black out days, much like the airlines do with redemption on frequent flyer miles.  I need recovery days.  Just like running as I've aged, I need more time between things to recover from those things - even if they are events, people, circumstances, projects or travels that I enjoy. 

It seems that we run through life, or at least I do.  My brother-in-law, a full-time fire fighter, works a schedule of 24 hours on followed by 48 hours off.  Maybe all of life should be like that.  Exhaustion never leaves if we don't recover from it before we create more! 

Exhaustion is both a state of mind and a real destination.  I've got both presently.

10.04.2012

FOR ONLY 3 EASY PAYMENTS OF . . .



I have succumbed to infomercials a time or two in my life.   Their ploy is to make it appear imperative to your health, wealth, success, organizational structure of your life, appearance or clothing style to buy their program, gadget, widget, gidget, doo-dad, how-to book, girdle, small almost drive-able kitchen device, lotion or potion.  Damn them.

My daughter, when she was a freshman in high school, got mesmerized by the infomercial for the wonder stick or the whip.  She wanted that thing in the worst way though her deep reasons escaped me.  I bought one.  I can't really remember its exact name as its claims far exceeded its actual value and real abilities.  I came home from work one day to find that her and a friend had tried to make something involving pineapple and pineapple juice.  It was literally everywhere; the ceiling, the walls, the cabinets.  I lost it.  The wonder stick also lost its place in my kitchen from henceforth. 

I am highly into health, exercise, nutrition and taking care of oneself.  Flipping on the TV late one night I was sucked in by Jack LaLane's Power Juicer.  Just look at Jack, 4,000 years old standing still trim and fit in his strange sort of jumpsuit.  He was passionately exuberant about the turn back the hands of time benefits to juicing.  I mean really, if I drink that juice I could live to be old and active and vibrant like Jack and his wife. 

I fought the urge to want to dial the number then.  I fought the desire to buy his juicer.  I tried to get this monkey off my back for quite some time, months and months.  It seemed though, every time I watched TV in the middle of the night ,there was Jack LaLane and his Power Juicer.  That was it, I wanted to be healthy.  I needed to be healthy.  THIS would be the thing that propelled me to the next level of health.   I dialed the number.

In the 6 or 7 years that I have owned that beautiful many parts involved juicer, I have used it probably 10 times or less.  It does though make great juice!  It also makes such a huge mess that it takes 10 times longer to clean up than it does to make one 12 ounce glass of juice.  And, where do you store something that large?  What was I thinking!  Jack, you are not only virtually eternal, but probably very wealthy from your high maintenance juicer.

I also needed skin like Susan Lucci, who played Erika on TV's "All My Children".  She had her own line of skin care products with a version of a microderm abrasion widget.  Did I want to fight aging well?  Did I want an arsenal that could turn back the hands of time in the world of collagen?  Oh baby did I ever!  I tried to fight the urge to believe there is anything really that can be the magic fix to aging.  I rationally knew that not to be true even as I dialed the 800 number and ordered YOUTHFUL ESSENCE by Susan Lucci.  I have since morphed my way back to drug store face wash.  And, I continue to crawl into bed at night without washing my face. 

Who hasn't watched PX90 or some similar informercial.  Producers of those spots know the power of visuals.  We are sight oriented and easily persuaded masses!  We are all befores just 90 days away from becoming afters!  My ex husband bought that one hook-line-and-sinker!  He did the program for all of about 3 days. His after was nearly identical to his before.  I did it for 90 days but since at the time my body weight was 95-100 pounds there wasn't a lot of change to be seen.  My before was fairly close to my after too!

Are you seeing a trend here?  We believe products will solve our deep unmet desires of being more beautiful, thinner, healthier, or will make our life easier.  That's why infomercials are absolutely brilliantly played to those desires.  Who doesn't want to make an entire 3 course meal in one pan either?

10.03.2012

MINI SERMONS


YESTERDAY WAS A DAY OF MINI SERMONS...
 
By the dental hygienist I got told (like I have been told by every dentist for the past 10 years) that I grind my teeth at night, that I need to be fitted for a mouth guard, that I was wearing down my molars.  Visions of a boxing mouth guard and molars soon to become nubs, much like baby antlers poking through a baby deer's skull, flashed in my head.  I let her say her spiel, kind of like letting a telemarketer say their 1-800 number before I hang up so at least they get sales contact credit for the call.   I smiled.  No, I told her, I had enough I dealt with on a daily basis without adding yet another thing to keep track of and do. 

She put the camera pen in my mouth, taking pictures of each tooth.  By the way, no one's teeth look good up close, let alone 46 year old teeth.  It's a bit like the philosophy that tan fat looks better than pale white fat.  Up close anything in mid life is never a grand idea nor flattering!  Her sermon morphed to declaring, with great urgency, about the 4 cracks in my back bottom right molar.  Surely it bothered me, was sensitive, was on the brink of destruction, she emphasized in her sermonie voice.  NOPE, I told her, it was feeling great and until pain drove me to the inevitable root canal and crown that was in that tooth's future, I would gamble daily for as long as it held up.  To me it was paramount to my car dealer telling me I would need new tires in 20,000 more miles but opting to spend the $1200 now to buy them when there is still wear on them! 

Her sermons were not garnering salvation, repentance, agreement or acquiescence from me.  She had to say them, was compelled even.  I though, did not have to do them or even agree with her timetable.   And I did not:)

By the nurse practitioner at the OBGYN office during my yearly exam, I got told that because I was a thin white woman in my upper forties I needed to take calcium - brittle bones would get me (I didn't even bother to tell her I have a borderline high calcium level in my body).  She needed to speak her mini sermon.  I let her preach with no intention of taking calcium. She could be happy, and so could I.  I also wasn't taking enough vitamin D or fish oil.  Evidently, I was not living up to the vitamin and mineral standards out there. 

As she performed the breast exam in both the prone and veritcal positions, she wondered if I did breast exams.  Here we go again, I thought!  No, not really.  It all feels the same to me, I humorously declared to her.  She frowned and moved to sermon point number 2.  Did I have my mammogram last year?  Nope, I said.  When did I have my last mammogram?  Hmmmm, 4 or 5 years ago, I said with a smile knowing that her preaching voice was going to flow shortly.  Did I know that breast cancer was the most highly treatable cancer, if caught early?   I did not want to disrespect that fact, but I just hadn't made the appointment for the mammogram from the brochure they give me every year at my gyno appointment.  Her displeasure with my slacking ways was clearly visible on her face

A good sermon should always shame you into something.  Guilt you to action.  Cause you to succumb to the weight of the topics discussed.  Something.  She knew I couldn't be trusted to get the appointment made for a mammogram, but would take the brochure home and throw it away after a respectable amount of time.  Leaving the room briefly she returned with a date and time scheduled for a mammogram.  I suspect it was her way of feeling like she got a convert, someone to go to the medical altar call she had been pleading for.  I still though am not going to take calcium. 

10.02.2012

FOR THE LOVE OF PETE!


Quite frequently, to accentuate my relentless and gritty ways, I use the resolute phrase;  come hell or high water.  Its implied meaning says; no matter how hard the process is I will prevail, victory will be had, completion will be met despite the hardness of the journey.  Now both hell and high water are precarious places to be.  But why are they connected together in one English phrase?

I wonder if English as a second language is a bit overwhelming for a foreigner to learn.  Not only are there so many exceptions to English rules along with double meaninged words, but there are implied meanings, idioms, euphemisms and cultural phrases.  I don't even know where some of our common sayings stem from and I was born and raised in the U.S.!

What I found out was that the phrase we so commonly usecome hell or high water, is a phrase attributed most likely to the late 1800's.  It was coined during that time to describe the trail drives bringing cattle to the railroad.  Even if rivers were flooded they had to be crossed.  And, the open prairies between Kansas and Texas made the summer sun unbearably hot.  Thus, one would go through hell and high water to get to the destination. 

That is exactly the meaning we are trying to utilize when we use the phrase in modern days. Though, we are far away from the Kansas to Texas trail and are probably not driving cattle during the hellishly hot summer months.  Now you know how hell and high water converged.

Who too hasn't said, for Pete's sake or for the love of Pete!  Why do we say it and what are we trying to say by using it?  I wondered that as it flowed out of my mouth several days ago.  Language is intriguing.  It has literal meanings, and many times, back stories, euphemisms, or cultural attitudes mixed in the backdrop of the actual words.  What I found surprised me. 

It is surmised that for Pete's sake, or phrases similar, are euphemisms for the phrases, for Christ's sake or for the love of Christ.  Using Christ's name in such a statement would have been blasphemous during much earlier periods in history so word substitutions were used.  Obviously nowadays the actual phrases are used regularly, but the euphemisms have long been implanted in regular language.  As for Pete, some believe it was a reference to the catholic Saint Peter. 

That idiom, and others like it; for crying out loud, etc. are used for emphatic purposes.  They are also very abstract in their definitions.  Though not taught in English, they are intrinsically known and caught culturally.  Our idiomatic expressions are not the sum of the definitions of the words that make them up, they are more like cultural word riddles. 

id·i·om/ˈidēəm/

Noun:
  1. A group of words established by usage as having a meaning not deducible from those of the individual words (e.g., raining cats and...
  2. A form of expression natural to a language, person, or group of people: "he had a feeling for phrase and idiom".
 
 
Do you speak the language? :)

10.01.2012

WHEN BRAGGING BECOMES NAUSEATING


I am all for encouragement.  If someone is great, I tell them.  If I like a product, I proclaim it to anyone who is willing to listen.  If anyone in my life needs a stroke, I will tell others about something they did in their presence.  I want them to know I value them highly. 

I though, have never been able to brag about myself or those closest to me.  Really is anyone going to take me serious and find unbiased validity in my bragging since I am so closely connected to the person I am bragging about.  It's like the saying, "You can't see the forest for the trees."  It is possible that my view is skewed, warped or morphed in an unhealthy way. 

Feeling extremely under the weather for the past couple of days, I convinced Doug to please let me off the couch to walk down to the end of the block and back.  I was cagey, and though I had the ambition and strength of a slug, I wanted to breathe outdoor air.  At the end of the block was a woman who lives in the neighborhood out walking her two schnauzers.  We see each other out almost daily and converse from time to time.  She hollered from her side of the street that she had been at marching band contest all day.  Both her sons are in the high school marching band.  She gushed on, excited and proud that the band had made regionals. 

 
Though I don't have kids in school anymore, I appreciated her support of her sons and excitement over their success.  "Congratulations!" I said.  She pressed on.  I began to ready myself to go to my happy place as all indications were flashing that bragging was soon going to get nauseating.  "My son had a drum solo." she said with fervor rounding the corner to biased bragging gone wrong.  "He was pretty much the star!" she exclaimed.  Wait! Did I just hear her say he was pretty much the star.  Who in the world says that out loud.  Who fosters that sort of view of self!  Geez, this is why kids have a self-centered way of thinking!  How about others in the band?  Did she really think that he was the sole reason the band went to regionals?  Where was I at in my happy place again?

I have never been a fan of anyone who toots their
own horn or ridiculously pedestals themselves, their kids,
 grand kids or mate in a unhealthy, unrealistic and
self-perpetuating light.  If there is any good or redeeming 
qualities present they are voided out by
full-of-self, superstar, primadonna-ishness. 

I already felt ill yesterday.  She did not help the healing process. 
Who says, my son was pretty much the star!  Who does that!