Thursday, July 31, 2008

Workin' For The Sugar

According to a new research study, refined sugar is far more addictive than cocaine -- one of the most addictive and harmful substances currently known. An astonishing 94 percent of rats who were allowed to choose exclusively between sugar water and cocaine, chose sugar. Even rats who were addicted to cocaine quickly switched their preference to sugar, once it was offered as a choice. The rats were also more willing to work for sugar than for cocaine.

I knew it! I knew it! I knew it!

It explains my powerlessness over the white stuff ( sugar). Oh, the stories I could tell… for every day of the year. I could set up a blog dedicated to the ridiculous stories of my off and on again addiction to sugar.

I’m actually a very healthy, organic, whole grain eater, who at one time taught classes on nutrition and herbs. But when I get an itchin’ for the tingles of sugar – watch out! Once, I bought a bag of caramels to make my annual caramel apples. I opened the bag to eat one, and ate the whole bag in two days. A couple years ago, I bought PopTarts on a whim. After eating one, I hid the rest of the box in the back of the cupboard. One morning when I found it hard to get out of bed, I remembered that I had those PopTarts. I nearly sprained my ankle tumbling down the stairs in my haste to get to them. And for my craziest trick ever, I ate almost an entire box of Lucky Charms in one night. Don’t Ever Do That! I’m not sharing any details – I just need you to trust me on this one!

My desire for the sweet stuff stems from childhood rebellion. I was not always allowed to have the sugar, so I made it my mission to get the sugar. My sister and I used to play house when we were children. We would sneak to the basement freezer and fill our tea kettles with mini-chocolate chips. Our mother thought we were just pretending to drink tea, but we were getting high on the sugar! Once, when I was in danger of being caught in the act of stealing the morsels, I ran with an obscene amount of mini chips rolled up in my shirt, from the basement to the bathroom – because no one can disturb you in the bathroom. My initial plan was to eat ALL the chocolate before leaving the room, but it proved to be too much, so I moved on to Plan B. Plan B ended in disaster because chocolate chips CANNOT be flushed down a toilet – who knew? And Plan C was all about hiding the evidence - which meant opening the bathroom window, tossing them outside, and hoping my father didn’t notice the chocolate valley that formed on the grass. Essentially, I was a little baby rat working hard for my sugar. But what’s my excuse now?

I like to believe I’m above the rats, because I wouldn’t work for sugar. But if I think about it - I go to work, I get paid money, and with that money, I buy me some sugar! Somebody stop me!!!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I'm No Speed Reader. I'm Gonna Be a Magician!

I purchased the latest version of Elements Photoshop a few weeks ago and could barely wait to get it installed. Oh, the magic I was going to create.
Installation was completed without any problems, but operating the program proved to be a bit more difficult. Within minutes I felt completely overwhelmed and under qualified. I quickly reached for it’s box, searching for the owner’s manual. There was none. What?! No owner’s manual? That’s like giving a kid a new board game without instructions. “Here Dick and Jane – here’s the cards, the pawns, the wheel, and the dice – go play! Oh, and don’t forget to set up the special spinning Ferris wheel in the center – I think it’s an integral part of the game, but who knows?!”

I find myself staring at the screen, selecting options and nothing happening. How do I create magic without knowing the secret tricks? I come to the painful conclusion that this was going to take lots of practice – SHOOT! I had been here before.

About ten years ago, I watched this infomercial on Speed Reading. Wow! This man said you could read a book in like four minutes. Well, I was a big reader at the time – mostly educational, in the subjects of nutrition, health, alternative medicine, etc. To think that I could sit down one night and read book after book in a few short hours was mind blowing. It seemed too good to be true, but if it was true, I would be brilliant! This man said that we are capable of reading left to right AND right to left, meaning backwards and forwards. We can even read up to four lines at one time! Amazing! I was sold. A mere $150 later and I was the proud owner of the Magic Speed Reading kit. I read everything thoroughly and then excitedly pulled out a book to read. Things did not go as I planned. Shocker! Call me stupid if you must, but I thought once I read through the magic material I would be an official speed reader. I was wrong. Apparently, these techniques take lots and lots of practice. I actually practiced for awhile and I sort of got the hang of it, but I felt like it was straining my brain, which left less energy to comprehend the books I wanted to read. So, that fancy class is currently sitting on my shelf, next to all the books I’ve read – one line at a time. Someday, when I’m eighty and I got the time, I’m gonna be a Speed Reader! For now, I’m going to learn how to do magic – photo magic that is!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Criminal On The Loose!

So, I’m heading off to work today, when I approach the stoplight at the edge of the subdivision. The light is red, so I stop, naturally. I wait. I wait. I wait. I wait as cars continue to drive through the green light as I sit at my red light. I wait. I watch the minutes tick by as I wait and I wait.

So, what’s going on? Is there an honest malfunction in the wiring? Is this a test – is there a cop hiding in the bushes ready to pounce if I decide to break the law? OR, is Dateline doing a story on whether you would do the right thing regardless of the circumstances? “We tested 100 people sitting at a red light that never turned green. Would they actually break the law just because they got impatient? Watch Dateline Tuesday and find out!”

I ran all these scenarios through my head as I sat and waited. I found myself preparing my defense if I got caught running this red light. But could I defend such action? Red means stop and green means go. This is as true as the sky is blue and the sun is yellow. But C’mon! At what point do I stop being a good law-abiding citizen and become the idiot who sat at a malfunctioning red light for an hour and ten minutes?

Feeling like a child learning to safely cross the street, I looked both ways three times for oncoming cars and upward for helicopter police. When the coast was clear, I darted out into the intersection taking a sharp left turn and waited for the police sirens to sound. They never did.

Look at me! Look at me! I’m a criminal running free………...

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Sun + Rain = Tomatoes, Right?

There’s no farmer girl in me. My dad grew up on a farm and we actually lived in the country on an acre. Growing up, Dad raised chickens only to chop their heads off and make us children pluck their feathers. I tell my father that any emotional upset I experience in my life can be traced back to that trauma – he just laughs. But I wonder sometimes if the reason I prefer eating chocolate over chicken has something to do with the headless chickens I defeathered as a child.

My Dad also had the biggest and best garden around. He planted everything himself and us children only stepped in when it was time to can or freeze something. When I went to start my own garden 8 years ago, I just assumed I was genetically inclined to be the master gardener my father was. Seriously, if you watch the news at all these days, you realize everything is genetic, right? Wrong! I was totally clueless. Luckily, my father gave me great advice on how to make my garden work and helped me get things started. We took my clay dirt and mixed in horse, cow, chicken, and goat manure. We tilled in good soil, nutrients and peat moss, and as a result, my garden has done quite well over the years. This spring we had the soil tested and when the results came back, I was happy to hear that everything tested superb –yeh! My garden was going to ROCK this year!

Everything started out good with my new strawberry plants producing scrumptious berries. Of course, I had a freak-out when the birds started feasting on them. I was out there like a mad scientist stapling mesh to the garden’s perimeter, leaving no entry possible for the birds. Ever since then, it’s been downhill. I don’t know, maybe it’s the sun or the live-giving rain that my plants have a problem with. Tommy the tomato has been the biggest disgrace to my garden. I chose him to be the centerpiece of my garden this year and he has let me down big time. I planted Pippie, a runt of a red pepper plant, and he has grown one inch – ONE – in two months! I did pull off three tiny cherry tomatoes this morning, so luckily I’ll have something for lunch today.

I guess I’ll have to count on the kindness and generosity of friends and neighbors to feed me this year. My friend, Jen has already given me squash – yum – my brother, lots of lettuce, and a patient brought me a bag of cucumbers, so I’ll be okay. I’m just disappointed in my crop this year. Next year, I’m gonna plant myself some sugar!

Friday, July 25, 2008

What Am I Watching For?

So, I had a talk with God last night. I know it’s best to let God do the talking, but sometimes I just feel the need to have my say. I like to let God know what I think of what’s been happening in my life and where I would like my life to go. So, I mentally pulled out the big outline of my life and did a check list – marking off the things that have happened and making note of the things that I would still like to have happen and of course, when these great things will happen. Every once in awhile, I like to check on the status of the order I placed for my husband. We all know how some things can get lost and delivery can be delayed. I’ve suggested a tracking system – like UPS uses – but God says that He knows exactly where he is and he’ll show up when the time is right. Ohhhkay.

BUT, if I don’t know when he’s coming, then how do I know I won’t miss him. Seriously, I’ve been given zero details on the guy. I don’t know if he’s tall or freckled or missing two of his toes. Is he Russian or Australian, or God forbid, Canadian? Is he a Buddha Boy, because that would certainly make life interesting for the Catholic girl in me? What kind of party is God planning for me? Is he sending me a clone of myself to keep life calm and serene, or is he going to rock my world with a man who challenges me everyday?

I know that whoever he is, he’s gonna love me. He’ll be my best friend, who makes me laugh more than anyone. I know he’ll get my sense of humor and think I’m really cool. I know he’ll appreciate all the qualities in me that make me who I am and treat me with great respect. I know we will have lots and lots of fun together. These things I know, because everybody deserves love like that. It’s the way God intended it. But, what package is this love coming in? Is he a good dresser – because I barely like to shop for myself – I can’t be his personal stylist. Does he like to mow the lawn, because I would love to give that job away!

I guess I just have a few questions and the older I get, the more questions I have. Is he a plumber? Because I’m constantly having problems with my toilets and that would really be convenient! Orrrrr, a millionaire – then we could just have a plumber on staff! See, I got ideas. I just don’t know if God and I are on the same page. I must say that I’m very intrigued and I look forward to meeting this prince. (You never know – he could be a real prince!) Either way, I’m choosing to keep an open mind and trust God with this decision.

I just want to say that had I known it would take this long to make the “perfect” man, I wouldn’t have ordered one!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Could YOU Stop Traffic?

As I cleaned out my studio room, I came across some old pictures, and by old, I mean nearly twenty years old. There were photos from a Florida trip I took with my high school friends right after graduation. Besides the 80’s hair and vampire make-up, we looked totally the same as we do now. Well, almost the same. I think our bodies have changed just a tiny bit.

I came across a picture of myself in a bikini. I was standing there next to a palm tree and I looked as though I were uncomfortable in my own skin. As I looked at the photo I couldn’t believe how good I looked in that suit! I’m not saying I would’ve stopped traffic or anything, but one or two cars may have slowed down and caused a minor fender bender. Then I thought to myself, what teenage girl who’s really active and eats brown rice and prunes for breakfast doesn’t look good in a swimsuit? The sad part was, I remember exactly how self conscious and thick I felt in that picture – so sad. Looking at the photo now, I can’t believe I saw myself that way. Seriously, did I even own a mirror?

This got me thinking. Women are really hard on themselves – painfully and pathetically so. If I couldn’t see myself as the super model that I was back then, then maybe I was being too hard on myself now. So, I ran to the closet, and dug out all the swimsuits I never wanted to wear outside the confines of my own backyard and decided to try them on. As I’m putting the first one on, I’m thinking to myself, “I bet I’ve still got a killer body. I’ve just looked at this body of mine with too critical of eyes, but now I’m ready to see the real me through loving and accepting eyes.

I walked up to the mirror and OUCH! – it wasn’t pretty. “Obviously, this is one of those unflattering suits,” I said to myself. “Some suits just aren’t made well – I don’t even know why I keep this one.” Then I tried on the coral suit. Did you know that coral is not a flattering color? That’s right. They shouldn’t even sell it to women. Oh, and did you also know that if you’re wearing a one piece suit, it is not advisable to wear one with thick vertical stripes? Why, you ask? I’ll tell you why. Because those stripes expand as your midsection expands, which means when you breath, it breathes – terribly unattractive! And those tank bikinis are a total scam! They are unforgiving and even the smallest of muffin tops can squeeze their way through the cracks. Oh, and let’s not forget the suit with the built-in bra designed to add volume in the areas we actually want it. I just love it when the cups get dents in them – nothing more feminine than a dented bosom.


I’m sure today, I still see myself with too critical of eyes. And yet, I’m confident that my current body would not stop traffic - at least, not for the reasons I would like, and I’m OK with that. I’m thinking that I should have appreciated and celebrated myself more when I was twenty. And twenty years from now, I don’t want to look back and wish I would have appreciated where I am and who I am right now. I choose to see all the good things about myself that really matter and celebrate that!

Besides, I’m rarely in the water! My best swim technique is the doggie paddle and my body sinks like lead when I try to float, so what am I doing in a bikini anyhow - trying out for Miss America? Yeh right!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Meet George

Since I don’t have much to say today, I thought I would let George introduce himself.

Hello everyone. My name is George and I’ve lived with Sheri for over a year now. As you’ve probably already noticed, she’s a little goofy, but she’s all I got. She treats me well and hugs me daily, which is nice. She lets me run around upstairs from room to room for exercise, but rarely lets me in her bedroom ever since I chewed up her curtains really good. She also gets frustrated when I hide under the bed and she can’t reach me. One time, she jumped on the bed from corner to corner like an idiot thinking the subtle up and down movement of the bed would chase me out into the open, but the joke was on her – as usual. I spend most of my afternoons napping and the evenings are usually reserved for exploring. She feeds me well and I’ve never gone more than 2-3 days without water before she realizes that I’m dry. It’s OK. Since I can’t bark or squeal, like a normal animal, I just try to give her a special look that says, “I’m dying over here!” and she usually catches on. She definitely has a hard time reading my moods. She tells people that I wear the same expression on my face all the time, but that’s simply not true – she just doesn’t see the subtle changes. One morning she greeted me with, “You look happy today, George. What are you so happy about?” And I’m like, “Happy?! Are you even looking at my face? I am clearly having a bout with depression today.” But she just smiles at me like a buffoon as if everything is honky dorry. Then on the days that I’m feeling a little zippy and spry, she’s like, “What’s wrong Georgie – is somebody grumpy today?” And I’m like, “Lady, you ARE crrrrrrazy!”

But she loves me so I put up with her.

Most of the time I feel safe and protected with Sheri. However, there was that one time in the summer, when I was outside in my play prison and a huge groundhog came up and peered in and scared the sh#@ out of me. I really thought that ugly thing was going to eat me – fur and all. Just as my life was flashing before me, a sexy little squirrel came bouncing out of nowhere, did a little dance, caught the hog's eye and boom – he was off and running! And then one time, one of her nieces that has the biggest brown eyes I’ve ever seen on a child, was trying to get me to eat a carrot. Apparently she thinks we chew with our nose ’cause that’s the hole she was shoving it in. Luckily, little Rosie doesn’t live with Aunt Sheri!

I hear Sheri talking about getting a dog and I’m not really keen on that idea. I’m really hoping it’s all talk…….

Monday, July 21, 2008

Who's Laughing Now?

I need to shop for work clothes, but I don’t want to. On my days off I don’t think about work, so I don’t think about shopping for work. Each morning while choosing my attire for the day, I regret not shopping the day before. Today however, I pulled out a pair of Old Navy khakis and wondered why I hadn’t worn them for a while. “Who cares?“ I thought, as a little wave of joy passed through me, "I'm gonna be sportin' a new look today". I ironed them with perfect creases and excitedly put them on. I walked up to the mirror and then it hit me – the reason I never wear them - the unattractive hug in the buttock area. They feel comfortable enough, but they hold on to the butt skin a little too tight. Feeling frustrated – I resign myself to wearing the same pants I wore last week.

And then, the light bulb moment happened.

I raced to the closet and pulled out two t-shirts. I folded up the first one and stuffed in down the right backside of my pants. Then I did the same thing with the other t-shirt on the left side. My pants were cotton, so I figured they just needed a little encouragement to stretch out. I walked around like this for about five minutes while I continued getting ready. When I finally walked past a mirror again, I did a double take. All I could think was, “I like big butts and I cannot lie…..” (That’s the only line I know from the song) Suddenly feeling ridiculous, I quickly pulled the shirts out of my trousers. But then, as I looked in the mirror again, I realized, “IT WORKED!” Sure, it was a silly way to stretch out my pants, but it’s hard to argue with results. As proud as I was of myself and my brilliant idea, I still felt like there was room for improvement. So, I repacked the trousers with the shirts and added a second step to the process – squats. I figured a healthy set of 25 squats would add just enough tension to the cotton for better stretch results, and I was right! Ha!

I may have looked a little ridiculous this morning, but I looked good ALLL day long, so who’s laughing now?

Sunday, July 20, 2008

In-Car Concerts and Sound Checks

While making the drive home from my sister’s house after watching her 5 munchkins for the weekend, I found myself getting a little sleepy. My remedy for sleepy driving is the In-Car concert, where you really get into the music and sing with lots of feeling. I know teenagers do it, but I rarely see other age groups singing passionately while driving. I think most people sing along quietly to the music while they’re driving, whether they can carry a tune or not, because really, who can hear them? I know I’m no Superstar, but I’m not all that bad either. After all, I was a member of my church choir for 10 years and they didn’t let just anybody in. You had to meet certain criteria – most specifically, you had to have finished the 2nd grade. That’s right, you had to be a 3rd grader before you earned a seat in the balcony of the church that overlooked everyone and everything. (Talk about distracting! When I started losing my 20/20 vision in the 7th grade, I spent the first half of Mass trying to identify the server boys by gait and body type alone. I got really good at it! I should have found a way to make a career out of that!) We were a tiny parish, so we made due with the talent that we had. My mother was the choir director and my older sister, the organist, so in all fairness, I could’ve had the voice of a toad and still probably made the cut. Still, I know I don’t scare away birds when singing outside and I manage to sing babies to sleep with my lullabies, so I think I can carry a tune OK. Sometimes though, I fall prey to the illusion that I’m better than I am. I have the volume up so loud that I really think I’m singing in tune with the artist. Sometimes to check myself, I take an empty CD case and hold it like an open book real close to my face. I sing into one side of the case and my voice bounces from there to the other side of the case, allowing me to hear my own voice. Reality can be harsh sometimes, but other times I find myself pleased with what I hear. Having one of these “sound checks” is no big deal during nighttime driving, because nobody can see you. But on a bright sunny day like today, holding up an empty CD case so close to your face as if it’s stuck there, can draw some attention from fellow drivers. Admittedly, sometimes I feel self-conscious, so I quickly pull it away from my face and act as if I’m reading the inside label – because that’s safe while speeding down the highway. But then I think to myself, “We’re all doing 80 on this interstate – when will I ever see these people again?” And actually, today I noticed many out-of-state license plates on the road, which means lots of boring driving time for these people. The way I see it, I may have given them a great conversation starter. Who knows?

Try the CD case trick sometime and ask yourself, “What would Simon say?”

Friday, July 18, 2008

Procrastination Can Be Dangerous

I’m heading to my sister’s this weekend to watch her five beautiful and spunky children while they attend a weekend retreat. I’m looking forward to spending time with her four girls, 1,4, 7, and 9, and her little man, who’s 3. They’re an energetic crew with wonderfully diverse personalities. As I start packing tonight for the wild adventure, I remember that my eyeglasses are broken. I wear contacts, but I don’t have the kind I can sleep in, so I usually remove them before bed and wear my glasses from the bathroom to the bedroom and vice versa in the morning. Well, while in Italy this February, I went to put my glasses on and all the screws spontaneously came loose and the glasses crumbled in my hand. This was unfortunate. I thought to myself, “I’ve definitely got to get that fixed as soon as I get home.” As I said, that was back in February and today is – Wow – July! Where does the time go? Every night for 5 months now, I’ve gone to bed legally blind. It concerns me that if my house caught fire or lightening struck it, I would most likely be bouncing off walls and falling down stairs just trying to save myself. Not a pretty picture. Because I have procrastinated in getting this small task accomplished during the daytime, I find myself asking God in the nighttime, to keep me safe and grant me the gumption during the waking hours to get off my butt and get my glasses fixed. Now, on this upcoming weekend with the five munchkins, I’m flirting with a different kind of disaster. Each morning, I’ll be awakened in the wee hours with anywhere from 2-10 eyeballs staring at me, but all I‘ll see is mounds of brown wavy hair. I won’t know if there are 4 of them on the bed, or just two of them. There may not be a fire or lightening strike, but if word gets out among the youngsters that auntie can’t see them, there’s no telling what’s gonna go down.

I think I’m going to tape up my glasses…...

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Shouldn't Grass Just Grow?

Shouldn’t Grass Just Grow?
When I became a homeowner 8 years ago, I never could have imagined that growing grass would be such an ordeal. I certainly never thought I would pay someone to make it grow faster, so I could mow it more often, but this is what I do. The first year in my house, I figured all the dandelions could be plucked by hand – oh yeah, all the men in the neighborhood had a good laugh at that for sure. Me, out there pulling each dandelion one by one, as the remaining root underground laughs and mocks me, as it plans it’s return within the week. I used to mow the lawn every week because the weeds needed it, not the grass. When I realized the clay earth that my grass was trying to live and grow in, did not acknowledge the use of my natural and organic fertilizers, I had to call for help and this is when my tumultuous relationship with Lawn Care companies began.

I hired them because I needed them, but they didn’t treat me right. They would come over unannounced and they didn’t listen very well so, I would break up with them. But when the next spring rolled around, my lawn looked like I had intentionally seeded it with dandelions. I felt like I had no choice but to call the Lawn Company and ask for their help again. This time, I laid down some ground rules. “You work for me”, I said. Things started out OK, but before I knew it, I was waking up on my day off to the sound of a truck’s motor outside my house. They were not invited today, so I shoot out of bed wearing pajamas that no one but me and the mirror should see, and I run out the back patio door yelling, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!” The poor gentleman stands there speechless – probably thinking, “who dresses that girl?” I realize this man is just following orders, so I change my tone. I politely explain that I did not order this treatment and I don’t intend to pay for it. He apologizes for the misunderstanding and I apologize for my attire and all is forgiven. The next day, I break up with his company. I called on a new company this year, and after 3 treatments, my lawn looks like I set it on fire. I don’t know what to do. Every time I mow my lawn, I look down on my poor grass that doesn’t seem to know how to grow and think to myself, “Shouldn’t grass just grow?”
Shouldn’t it?

Magic Moments

Magic moments come in the most unexpected places, don’t they? I had a patient today that I wasn’t entirely thrilled to see, because I never know how to take her. Sometimes she requires a lot of my energy, but not today. Out of nowhere, she started discussing photography of all things. After the shut-out I experienced yesterday with photo classes, here she is in my office, spouting off loads of useful information in regards to classes and opportunities. In the midst of listening to her and thinking how ironic this moment was, I heard her mention something about my husband. “WHAT? I don’t have a husband.”
Now it was her turn, “What?! I thought you were married!”
“Nope. Not yet, but soon.” Turns out, all this time she assumed I was married, but now that she knows the truth, “I’ve got a man for you! He’s the vice-principal at our school and you should meet him.” My interest peaked for two reasons:

One – She used the word, nice, to describe him ONLY after she already used 5 or 6 other adjectives; such as well rounded, handsome, liked by kids and adults alike, creative, cultured, and tall. I have a weird issue with the word “nice” ever since I heard a priest give the most enlightening sermon on the word. It’s such a lame word that feels so generic. When people try to set me up with a man and all they got is “He’s nice” I want to say, “Heck, throw in a pulse and a full head of hair, and you got yourself a deal!”

Two – his last name following my first name sounds like a circus performer – how fun is that?! It sounds something like, Gracie Gooey, or Shirley Shooey – what a hoot! Whatever comes of the VP, my conversation with “Betty Sue” was a reminder that surprises are everywhere, and you never know who will perk up your day. Thanks Betty Sue!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Seriously...How About Some Change?

Ok, so I’m obviously looking for change in my life and up to very recently, didn’t know how to get it. Finally, I had an epiphany and realized how much I love taking pictures and how I would love to be a master at taking them. I’ve been tossing around the idea of buying a Digital SLR camera and taking some classes. I think about it every day, actually. I was convinced this was the right route for me, so I decided to act swiftly.

I looked online for classes and found that a 6-week course that I was interested in, was starting in TWO days. I haven’t ordered my camera yet, but I decided that little detail was irrelevant. Of course, attending a class on Digital SLR cameras, while all I have is a Power Shot Elph is like showing up for a spinning class wearing a dress. Sure, it can be done, but who does that? Apparently I do, because as far as I was concerned, if my schedule at work allowed me to get out the door on time to get to that class, I was in.

So today, I found that with my schedule, it would be tight – but doable –yeh! I go home at lunch to sign up and when I enter the website and click on ‘classes‘, it’s like I’ve entered a totally different site than yesterday, which is not a good thing, because this site shows no classes in my area. I’m like, “WHAT?!” I check and recheck and no matter how many times I click the tab, I get the same results – amazing, huh?

I dial up that store looking for answers and poor Brian had no clue what was going on. After several minutes on hold, he informs me that apparently in the last 12 hours they decided all the classes were being revamped and were not available to take at this time. WHAT? what? C’mon God, work with me! Pleeeeeeeeeease work with me……

Fine. I’ll change something else. It just so happens I bought paint today to repaint my studio room, so I‘ll change that! I went with my instincts and just picked a color. I was so excited to be making decisions and getting things done. So, I start painting the room. No, I don’t prep before I paint - I just move furniture as needed. I don’t lay drop cloths, I don’t cover anything, and I don’t tape – I live dangerously like that. Anyway, I start rolling this paint on the wall and I can barely tell the new paint from the old. WHAT? How can that be? I’m painting a Pearl Onion Green over a Buttercup or Egg Yolk Yellow ( I don’t remember) - how can they look the same? So, I continue to paint in denial. I roll and roll down the wall, until I am interrupted by someone at my door. No, I don’t want to be a Jehovah’s Witness. I’m Catholic – I’ve already got my ticket into heaven………...kidding!
I fix myself something to eat while downstairs – all part of my plan to separate myself from the room for awhile, so I can return with a new perspective. Well, I could have eaten breakfast, lunch, and dinner down there and those walls would still prove that green can look just like yellow. I felt like I had just shredded $45 while sniffing paint fumes – what a waste!

This was obviously not a day for change. This was a day for reminders on how God works in mysterious ways – very mysterious in my life – very mysterious…..

Honestly, what was I thinking - painting my walls with Pearled Onion? Who does that?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Seriously...When will I learn?

So, I went to the mall today. I don’t like the mall. I don’t like it’s energy. I prefer stores that stand on their own. But I went to the mall b/c sometimes you need new clothes and this is one of those times. I was scoping out dresses for a wedding coming up and WOW are they expensive! I tried on a few beauties, but none of them hugged my curves right. Don’t get me wrong – they hugged me – they just hugged me unattractively. Every woman in the world knows what it means to be hugged unattractively in a dressing room. Well, one of these hot little numbers wasn’t going over my head very easily and I knew that was trouble, but I pushed on. I just had to get it past my big bony shoulders and it would be fine, I told myself. Surprise, surprise, surprise….it was TIGHT! Instantly, I knew I was in a bad situation. I had been here before – several times, unfortunately.
Years ago, I had a Halloween party to attend and wearing a costume was strongly encouraged. Being creative like I am, you would think creating a costume would be easy, but my brain stalls every Halloween. So, I’m in Kohl’s, and I see this Giraffe costume. Granted, it’s in the kiddie section because it’s for a kid, but it was that cool type of costume that slid over your head and wore like a coat, where the hood is the giraffe’s head. My niece had a lion costume just like it and I had tried it on just a few weeks earlier simply to amuse her. Of course, this giraffe was one size smaller than the lion had been, but it couldn’t make that much of a difference, could it?
It could. It did. Let’s just say, I had just about come to terms with the idea that I was going to re-enact the Incredible Hulk rip-and-tear-your-shirt-off scene and pay for a destroyed giraffe’s costume, when God decided to have mercy on me and free me without harm to myself or the giraffe. Thank You, God! Believe it or not, I did find that costume in one size larger at another location, bought it, and went as the stupidest looking Giraffe to my friend’s party. I know what you’re thinking – this is why she’s single – but there were no single men at this party, so that can’t be the reason.
Several years later, while at Ann Taylor of all places, I was trying on a beautiful white blouse. It too, tried to warn me that it was too small for my frame, but I didn’t listen. And when the panic hit me this time, it was a little more intense. Somehow, I knew the degree of embarrassment would be much worse at Ann Taylor’s. As I crossed my arms and tried with all my might to tug the shirt upward, I started to sweat a little. But then, right before I called out to one of the fancy Ann Taylor ladies to have her cut me from this blouse, I felt something metal on my side – a zipper. A zipper! They put a zipper in the side of this blouse, so dorks such as me can free ourselves without any outside assistance. Praise the Lord! I love new discoveries!
But back to the mall and my current dilemma. This dress had no zipper, I wasn’t feeling God’s mercy, and it was near closing time. I told myself that I had been here before, and I had always managed to free myself, so I just needed to chill out and calm down. As the pep talk continued in my head, I twisted and wiggled and squirmed until I had successfully worked the dress right off my body – Ta Daaaa!

I would say that I’ve learned my lesson, but…….

Saturday, July 12, 2008

I'm Taking Charge!

Early this spring, I decided that even though I’m strong enough and young enough to mow my football-field sized yard with a simple push mower and my calf muscles, I would gladly accept the gift from a friend in the form of his used self propelled mower. I saw no reason to drop $400 on a piece of yard equipment if a friend is offering his up for free.
Can I just tell you that mowing with a self propelled mower has been the greatest joy of my summer? (Yea, my summer’s been a real party!) Even though I decided to join the ranks of other lazy lawnmowers, I still kept my old Lawn Machine mower in the garage, just in case this LawnBoy got upset that I decided he didn’t need a $100 tune-up after sitting dormant in a garage for 2 years, and quit working for me.
Well today was the day. Mr. LawnBoy showed no signs of life as I attempted to start him. Sure, he sputtered a bit, but it was pathetic, really. I pulled and pulled that cord with near zero response. I walked away. I pulled a few weeds, took a deep breath, and walked right back up to Mr. LawnBoy. After many more attempts to start his engine, I came up with a new plan. That’s right, I rolled out the old Lawn Machine hoping to challenge Mr. LawnBoy. Well, the joke was on me, because the Lawn Machine decided he wasn’t working on a Saturday either.
So here I am, Miss strong and independent woman, standing in my driveway, working over two dirty, beat-up, sluggish lawnmowers. At one point, I got on my knees and really checked things out. When I say checked things out, I mean wiping away oily grass that had collected over the summer, wiggling wires and plugs, turning it on it’s side – all the things you do when you have no idea how a machine operates. All I know, is that I’m supposed to pump that little bubble three times and then pull the cord. So, as I pull the cord on one mower, then the other, and then the other, I start to wonder if they would work better if I washed and waxed them like most men in the neighborhood – you know the ones I‘m talking about– they mow their lawn every four days in that fancy checkered pattern. I really hope that’s not it, ‘cause I’m not doing it.
I took a deep breath, pulled the cord on the old Lawn Machine and Vrooom...We Have A Winner! I walked away from Mr. LawnBoy in disgust as Lawn Machine and I made our way to the backyard. After I mowed the back, I went inside for a water break. When I walked back outside and stood before Mr. LawnBoy, I decided to give him a chance to redeem himself. I gave the rope one good tug and Vroooom….We are back in business!

I am woman – hear me roar!