Saturday, August 30, 2008

A Day With Izzie

My sister’s up from Louisville for the weekend because the whole family is gathering Sunday for a Road Rally, which is like a scaled down Amazing Race. I can hardly wait to Rally because I my intention is to win! But today, Amy and her husband took the four oldest kids to Eric’s brother’s for the day, and they left sweet baby Izzie with me – Yeh! (She’s 18 months old )

We went to the Pet Store to pick up food for George and then visited with all the animals. She didn’t make a single peep as she took it all in. After oo-ahhing over the puppies and laughing at the parrots, we left to do some grocery shopping. Once again, she remained silent as I loaded the vegetables all around her in the cart. When she got her hands on the red leaf lettuce, she worked it over as if she was trying to pulverize a bag of potato chips. I guess that’s what you call a tossed salad!

As I type this, she sleeps peacefully just three feet away as she most likely dreams of the puppies and talking parrots she met this morning. It’s been three hours now, so I’m thinking it’ll be any moment that she opens her big brown eyes and giggles at me.

Whoa! Talk about timing! “Hello, sweet girl”.

I’ve gotta go! There’s a beautiful park down the road that’s calling our name!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Whoooooa! That Was Close!

To prepare for the carpet installers to come and coat my floors with “Champagne” I had to move a lot of stuff from the third floor to the second floor. That meant countless trips up and down the stairs with my arms full. On one of my trips, I got careless with my footing and did one of those, “Whoooooa!”, where your foot misses the step, your body lurches forward and you fight to pull yourself back before you somersault your way down the stairs. As I took a moment to center myself, I thought of all the missed falls I’ve had on this staircase. My chunky Steve Madden shoes from years ago, were by far the greatest cause of near mishaps. I don’t know how many times I saved myself from disaster in those shoes and then reprimanded myself with, “SHERI!!!! BEEEEE CAREFUL!”

I’ve often thought about what would happen if I fell down the stairs and knocked myself unconscious – what would I do? Seriously! If it was a Friday or Saturday when I had no plans, it could be days before someone found me. Of course, if I had a man picking me up for a date, then he could swoop in and save the day. WOW! Dating could save my life!

When I shared this long-time concern with one of my best friends, she just laughed at me. This friend lives in Canada, which means she’s gonna be the last person to find me – what’s so funny about that? I’m dead at the bottom of the stairs while she’s hoopin’ and hollerin’ it up at a hockey game, completely unaware of my demise. The game of hockey would never be the same for her after that!

My other best friend laughed at my concern too. She lives much closer and she would be the first one knocking down my door if I failed to show up for an ice cream social. In fact, she would call in the helicopter police to meet her at my house to help her knock it down!

I’m thinking the best case scenario would be if I tumbled on a work day. The girls from the office would be knocking down my door at ten minutes past the hour, because I’m nothing if not reliable. Reason number 22 for being a dependable employee - if you fall down the stairs and knock yourself unconscious, your co-workers will come looking for you.

Actually, best case scenario would be to simply walk down the stairs one at a time like I learned to do when I was three years old. After thirty-some years of practicing this basic skill, you'ld think I would have mastered it by now!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Men Just Want A Little Respect

Spending all day with a diverse group of patients can lead to many captivating conversations. I see all walks of life in my office, which makes every day interesting. I have this one patient, who I’ll call Stuart, that I just adore. Stuart and I got along swimmingly right from the start. Our conversations were always highly spirited as we jumped from one subject to another, each of us waiting for our turn to speak. He’s a pastor at a local church, who’s married with three teenage boys. He is what I call a “high quality individual“. On his last appointment, while discussing fabulous books we had read, he gushed over the book, “Love and Respect” by Emerson Eggerich. Apparently, he gives it out to all the married couples he counsels and it always gets rave reviews.

Since my future husband is lost in space somewhere, it seemed the perfect time to read a book about getting along with your spouse. I figured it couldn’t be too hard to respect a man who wasn’t there. After all, the imaginary men are the most fantastic to date, because they’re perfect in every way! What’s not to respect, right?

According to Mr. Eggie, men need respect like women need love. In a study of 400 men around the nation, when forced to choose one of the following scenarios, they were asked which they would prefer to endure?

A) to be left alone and unloved in the world
B) to feel inadequate and disrespected by everyone

Seventy-four percent chose to be alone and unloved rather than feel inadequate or disrespected. Gee! How many times do women make their men feel inadequate? Yeah.

Every page I turn I see the truth in what he speaks. All that women want is to feel genuinely loved. We want to be the center of one man’s universe. As much as that is true, the men we love ( even the ones lost in space that we patiently wait for) desperately want to feel respected. According to Eggie, if a women shows disrespect to her man – and we do it ALLL the time – then that man finds it difficult to show love to the women who does not respect him. When a man does not feel respected for who he is, he withdraws from his woman, and the woman takes that to mean he doesn’t love her enough. This begins the Crazy cycle, as he calls it. This cycle doesn’t have to start with the woman. In fact, it probably starts with the man doing or saying something seriously stupid. Whoa! Did I just say that? Wow! I need to practice my respect speak before my space boy finds me.

If you read this book, Mr. Eggie will convince you that these two elements of Love and Respect are indeed the core issues between a man and a woman. I think this man is a genius and I’m going to start practicing these techniques on my bunny George. There are days when I poke a little fun at him and I realize I may be emasculating him and that’s why he retreats when I try to love on him. Sometimes, he looks at me like I’m about to take his life, as he runs to his little den. I don’t ever want to see that look of fear in the eyes of the man I love. So for practice, George is gonna get nothing but respect from me for awhile and we’ll see if his aloof attitude changes into Looooooooove.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Preparing For A Funeral

As it is so many times in life, death comes sooner than expected. We think if we plan well and take good care, everything will be alright. But sometimes, if we’re not paying close enough attention, sickness slowly settles in. So slowly, that by the time we notice that death is near, it’s too late to breathe new life into it.

Sadly, I am prepared to officially bury my garden tomorrow. It will be tilled under, way before it’s time. Tonight, as I took one last look at my wilting and shriveling plants, I thought of all the gardens around the world that are still alive, vibrant and producing award winning produce. Why couldn’t my vegetables thrive this year? Was it the year of the strawberry?

June-bearing strawberries made their yummy debut in my garden this spring and I took that as a sign that it was going to be a fruitful summer. It wasn’t. It seems that when fruit entered my garden, the vegetables staged a boycott. I had no idea there would be a conflict. I always thought fruits and vegetable got along. I know they play well together in salads.

Anyway, I’m gonna make the trip to Lowe’s tomorrow to pick up the refuse bags that will serve as the carrying coffin for the deceased vegetables. I’ll walk them to the curb and wait for the big red truck to come and take them away. They’ll enter the recycling world, where they can be reincarnated into something different for next season. Maybe as vegetables, they missed their calling and next year they’ll thrive better as mulch.

Wouldn’t it be wild if they came back to my garden next year as mulch? Unless they plan to come back to suffocate the strawberries – that would be bad! Maybe they should just move on and I’ll do the same.

I tried to post a final picture of the garden, but Blogger apparently thought it was too bleak to post, because it refused to upload it. Maybe it's for the best. A person could wilt just looking at it.

Instead of dwelling on what wasn't this year, I choose to remember all the years before, when it wore big green leaves and produced juicy red tomatoes. I'm looking ahead to next year and dreaming of all the possibilities!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Poor Stanley

So, a funny thing happened at work today. I had this sweet patient – let’s call him Stanley – who I’ve known for nearly a decade. He’s been going through a rough patch lately. His elderly father just passed away, he’s been experiencing a lot of neck pain, and they finally confirmed that his thyroid is officially “dead” - which explains his debilitating fatigue. As he starts to catch me up on all the details, I invite him to lie down and relax. So, now he’s lying down, with his eyes closed, as he’s proceeds to tell me everything that’s going on in his life.

As I’m listening to every detail, I notice the tiniest, tiniest, little, black spider playing Tarzan in his blond hair. I don’t like spiders of any size, so I’m still listening to him, but I’m keeping my eye on the baby spider. I watch him jump from strand to strand as I try to decide what to do. Normally, I would come right out and tell a person this kind of thing. I certainly never hesitate to let someone know their zipper’s wide open, or lipstick’s on their teeth, or spinach is in their teeth, or my personal favorite – their shirt is inside out or on backwards. ( That usually happens to the mothers who have a million things to do in a day) I tell them these things, because I would want them to tell me!

But I didn’t want to tell him. So I lightly blew on his forehead, as if I was trying to blow out candles on a cake, hoping the spider would just blow away. I wouldn’t normally consider doing this, but this man isn’t interested in girls, so I took the chance that he wouldn’t even be phased by it, and I was right. He just kept on talking. I guess I had forgotten that spiders aren't much affected by a little breeze. I’ve seen one clinging to a flower once that was being blown sideways on a windy day. Those guys definitely know how to hang on.

So, I decided to capture the strands of hair the spider was playing in between two fingers and whisk him away. Stanley noticed that. He asked, “ Oh, was there a little piece of fuzz in my hair?” I wanted to say, “No Stanley, there was a spider in your hair – yuk! gross! ” but I felt certain that would upset him. Stanley is a very neat and hygienic individual. He’s always put together, everything in his house is white, and his Beemer convertible is cream colored with light beige interior. I honestly felt like the idea that a spider was crawling in his hair would seriously bother him – it sure bothered me! So I replied, “It’s all gone now!” and left it at that.

Stanley left the office feeling better, while I was left feeling a little itchy, because I’m not real sure where that little guy went. I’m slightly paranoid that I took him home with me.

Please God, don’t let that be true!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I'm A Commandment Keeper

So, I’m doing a bunch of weeding and trimming tonight and because I’m out of refuse bags, I decide for the first time to throw them in the big green trash can. No biggie. Until I took notice of the big white label covering the inside lid that clearly reads, “DO NOT PLACE THESE ITEMS IN THIS CONTAINER: Furniture, tree limbs, appliances, building materials, automotive parts, paint, and oil.

What?! How have I never seen this until now? Eight years and hundreds of trash days, and I’ve never seen that sticker. Apparently, I’ve broken the golden rules countless times over the years. I’m amazed they don’t drive their trash truck right by my house yelling, “Rule Breaker!” as they blatantly leave my trash behind.

I’m a Commandment Keeper and I don’t consider myself a rule breaker – unless we’re talking about speeding, ‘cause I don’t follow that rule too well – but other than that, I’m a good girl. I know I haven’t thrown any appliances in the green can, but when it comes to every other item on the list, I’m guilty!

Even though I’ve never seen that sign before today, I admit that I was told once by a friend that building materials were frowned upon in the green can. He informed me of this after I had torn up all the white ceramic tile in the kitchen and had boxes of it in the garage, waiting to be disposed of. Mind you, he did not tell me NOT to do it, he just said it was frowned upon.

I remember the first morning I rolled that forbidden load to the curb. I watched from the window, as I peeked through the blinds, waiting to see what would happen. As the trash truck pulled up, I could feel my heart beating in my chest. The big plier hands reached around the can, lifted it up, dumped in it, and poof – white dusty smoke filled the air. I held my breath, waiting to see what would happen next. I was sure the driver was going to jump from his truck, run to my door and yell, “Hey Rule Breaker, Congratulations! You’ve just been X’d off my route!” But he didn’t! I’m not sure he even cared, which to me was permission to refill the green can with more taboo materials. After eight weeks of breaking the rules, my garage was finally clean. It felt good and bad all at the same time.

Of course, had I seen these rules written in bold, red letters, as I did tonight, I would have hesitated to dump the stuff in the green can. But, I‘ll admit, I probably would have done it anyway. I’m a girl living in the suburbs. When I got trash, I throw it in the trash can. What else am I supposed to do with it – decorate my lawn with it? I’m going to do better, though. I want to be a true blue Commandment Keeper!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Ahhhh Weddings.....

I attended a wedding yesterday. I love weddings! I always think about how every person in the church is experiencing the moment differently, depending on what chapter of their life they’re in.

The couple happily married fifty years may be nostalgic – remembering how much they loved each other on their wedding day - astonished that they love each other so much more today. They’re probably wearing one those goofy grins as they think of their long and happy life they’ve shared. Of course, two pews ahead, there’s bound to be another couple who’s just endured the longest fifty years of their lives together and death is sounding pretty good right now.

There’s probably a couple or two who’ve only been married a short ten years and still remember how free they were to love each other, before all the children came along. Now, all that love is multiplied, but also divided. With young children, that free love comes in stolen moments; between diaper changes, meltdowns, and temper tantrums. Of course, two pews ahead, there’s a couple who welcome the distraction of a dirty diaper, because their honeymoon ended shortly after the actual honeymoon. So sad.

Then there’s the couple who’s children are grown and living their own adult lives. These couples are entering the second honeymoon phase - rediscovering what it is they love so much about the person they married and who that person has evolved into. It’s sort of like falling in love all over again. And two pews ahead, there’s a couple who’s children have flown the coupe, and left behind two perfect strangers in the house together. These people need to do some serious dating again if they don’t want to end up like the couple married fifty years, praying for the end of their own life.

Of course, there’s always a few single people in the crowd wondering what it would be like to find that person who is different than any other person they’ve met. They can’t imagine meeting a person who makes them think, “You know, I’ve met a lot of people in my life and I’ve liked most of them. Some of them became my friends because I liked them so much. I dated some of them because not only did I like them, they made my heart do a little dance. But until now, I never thought to choose just one of them to walk hand in hand with me for the rest of my life! But you know what? No matter what comes my way, you ARE THE ONE person I want by my side at all times”.

That’s seriously heavy stuff. Watching two people stand up there and proclaim that this is the one person they’ve chosen to walk beside, no matter what, until the day they die is a serious statement. It’s inspiring to say the least. I’m actually thinking about doing it myself someday. We’ll see…..

Friday, August 15, 2008


Today, I drove up on a minor car accident scene, in which no one was injured and things were totally under control, yet other drivers were gawking as they drove by. It is my belief that rubbernecking is one of the main reasons for traffic molasses. You’re motoring along the highway, making good time, when everything comes to a screeching halt. Twenty minutes and two miles later, you finally discover what all the fuss was about and you think to yourself, “Seriously, that’s what the problem was?”

Years ago, I decided not to be one of those drivers who gawk. I would drive right past an incident and barely look - because it’s rude to stare at others misfortune, right? At first, I felt proud of myself for not being a nosy driver, but after a few “drive-bys” I noticed my pride quickly morphing into guilt.

How could I drive by without looking or caring about what was happening? I didn’t want to gawk, but certainly I should take interest in another human beings plight, right? I thought back to college days when I drove the ultra-cool Ford Escort, which we all know to be the ultimate in reliable transportation – kinda like a Honda, only ten times cheaper! How many times have I recited the rosary in that red hunk of metal, as I traveled from one college to another for the “party of the year”? If my little Escort had done the unthinkable, and left me stranded on the side of the highway, it would break my heart to know fellow drivers blew right by me in my distress, without a second thought.

So, I decided to become a semi-rubbernecker. As I come upon a distraction, I take a quick look, assess the situation, keep moving, and offer up a prayer for them. I take notice of their situation because I’m concerned about them and I keep driving out of respect for them. Of course, if he’s cute and driving a Jag, then I pull off the highway, throw it in reverse, and show him just how fast I can drive my scooter backwards and in a semi-straight line!

I don’t really own a scooter – just a car.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

A True Dancing Queen

I recently watched the classic movie, “My Fair Lady” with my seven and nine year old nieces. It had been twenty years since I had seen it and all I remembered about it was Audrey Hepburn talked really funny and there was some romance in it. I had forgotten that it was over three hours long and they sang nearly every scene – fifty songs! Even though it’s rated “G”, it’s not much of a child’s movie, but the girls hung in there really well. They said they liked it, even though I doubt they’ll beg to watch it again and again like they do “Enchanted“.

I was commenting about the movie to a patient of mine who happened to be a teacher. I spoke of how terribly simplistic the story line was and how the character development was minimal. He explained that when movies of that time were made, most people did not own a television, but everybody had a radio. Music was what it was all about. They made movies in an attempt to sell records. Basically, “My Fair Lady” was just a simple story set around a bunch of music videos. According to this teacher, all musicals and most movies were made to sell records, unlike the movies of today.

But last night, my sister-in-law proved him wrong. I met her at the theatre to watch the film, Mama Mia, because my brother wasn’t interested in seeing it– shocker! The movie was great! It was a little unnatural seeing Pierce Brosnan sing, but he looked good. Through it all, we laughed and Renee’ cried. It was the kind of movie that made you realize that you wanted to have a lot more fun in your life – like when you were twenty! Two thumbs up for fun!

After going our separate ways, I drove home with all my windows down, despite the spitting rain, and beep bopped to the loud music like an inspired dancing queen. ABBA wasn’t playing on the radio, so I had to make due with what they were playing at the time – no problem!

When I arrived home, there was a message on my voicemail from Renee’ telling me that she had gone straight to Barnes and Nobles and purchased the Mama Mia soundtrack because she was just so excited! She felt inspired to buy it! In fact, it was playing in her car as she was calling me. She was going to sing along to the music all the way home, like a true dancing queen!

I don’t know. It sure sounds like somebody sold a record because of a movie to me! Mama Mia!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Chocolate Mousse or Sugar Sand?

So, the carpet guy came by yesterday to measure for new carpet and he left some samples for me to look over – great! I thought my days of tedious decision making was done for awhile when I had finished painting all the rooms upstairs. Trying to choose the right paint color was a long and expensive process and I was excited to be done with goofy decisions like that. But now, I’ve got a hundred different shades of beige carpet samples to choose between. How do I do that?

Do I walk on Frosted Stone or Golden Wheat? Do I sit on Bamboo or Sugar Sand –ooh, sugar….! And after a long day, do I lie down and stretch out over Sandstone or Chocolate Mousse? Duh! Chocolate mousse – always chocolate mousse! You laugh, but I can seriously be swayed by the names of things. Right now, I sleep a little better at night knowing that according to Sherwin Williams, I’m sleeping under the Tibetan Sky. Imagine waking up in the morning, getting out of bed, and stepping into chocolate mousse – cool, huh? Mondays wouldn’t be so bad if they started out all chocolately!

Of course, I wouldn’t purchase a carpet color on name alone, but when it came down to the final four, I know myself well enough to know that I would subconsciously talk myself out of Sandstone and vote for Chocolate Mousse. It’s just the way my mind works.

Case in point: I know in my heart of hearts, I just purchased the Canon Rebel over the Nikon D70 because I like to say, “I'm taking pictures with my Rebel”, which sounds so much cooler than "my D70". Either camera would have been a sound investment and the differences between them are minor, so making the choice I did was OK, but I fear that someday this decision making process could get me in trouble.

I can paint over paint over paint over paint for a mere $150, but once this carpet is laid down, it’s as good as nailed to the floor as far as I’m concerned. So, I think I’m going to cover up the names on the swatches and try a better way to make a decision. I’m going to close my eyes and point!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Omigosh! What Did He Do?

I grew up in a wonderfully small town with crazy curly hair. If I wasn’t attempting to cut and style my own mop of madness, it was the local beauty shop taking on the challenge. Every lady working at the salon assured me that curly hair was God’s gift to me and there was no changing it – I had thick curly hair and that was that!

After moving to the city, I met a new stylist who quickly shot holes through that theory. She too, felt that curly hair was a gift from heaven - mostly because she wanted curls herself - but unlike all the others, she proved time and time again that there were many different things I could do with my ‘gift‘. Five hairdressers and 25 different hairstyles later, I’m confident that I could’ve been a real member of the witness protection program these last fifteen years. Well, that may be a slight exaggeration. I don’t know that the changes were drastic enough to keep me safe from a mob hit, but you get the picture!

My current hair stylist owns a trendy salon with a solid reputation and usually gives me a great cut. When I went last week to get my hair cut, I went with plans to re-invent myself - maybe a great chop and bob – but I apparently didn’t make these plans clear to him, because things went horribly wrong. When he greeted me that morning, he seemed wide awake and alert. He appeared focused and ready to work, and I have no reason to think that I’ve upset him in any way….and yet, I hate my haircut!

I remember sitting in the chair as he did his best impression of Edward Scissorhands on my hair – flipping and thinning, flipping and thinning. He told me that a very talented stylist in California had taught him this technique and he had been practicing it for awhile. He reported that sadly, his first two tries were unsuccessful – very unfortunate for those poor ladies! He gave me the distinct impression that he had worked out all kinks with this technique and even considered himself quite the pro at it.

Yeah! Well the lady in MY mirror this morning was screaming a different story. My mirror said, “Omigosh, what did he do to your hair? Why does it look like that? What’s that flippy thing it’s doing – that looks stupid! You canNOT wear your hair that way! No, you can‘t! You have to wear a pony tail every day until he fixes that mess up there! You call him right now!”

Being the good man he is, he will fix it. Until then……..I’ll just have to rely on my personality to get by.

Note: Photoshop exaggerated my hair disaster a little bit, but you get the picture. (notice how the ‘big’ hair makes my chin look bigger…?)

Friday, August 8, 2008

Who's With Me?!

I watched some good films on Pope John Paul II and Mother Teresa this week and I think it’s safe to say that God is super proud of these two kids. They’re great modern day examples of what Jesus expects of us in regards to listening to God’s voice, following the call, and loving every one along the way. I’ve been trying to follow their examples, but I think I’m falling a bit short. I find that I’m still talking AT God instead of listening to him – why can’t I stop that? And I’m afraid he may have told me what my life assignment is already and I just didn’t hear him because I was talking too much - which would be high school all over again. Then the other day, instead of loving thy neighbor, I rolled my eyes at a patient when he wasn’t looking, because he was driving me crazy with his persistent ‘are-you-sure-you-know-what-you’re-doing’ line of questioning. I felt bad about that.

To make myself feel better, I tried to get a visual of Jesus rolling his eyes as he walked past a poor beggar on the street, but I just couldn’t see it. I remind myself that just because I rolled my eyes at this person doesn’t mean I don’t care about him. It just means that while I want to do my best to help him, in that particular moment, his slightly annoying behavior made it difficult for me to look at him, so my eyes simply escaped to the back of my head temporarily. I’ve prayed about it and I’m confident I’ll do better next time.

Reviewing these two extraordinary lives was good for me, because it’s easy to get caught up in the worldly world and forget the words of St Francis - which are great words to live by. I want to make a difference in this world while I’m living in it and that’s hard to do when you’re all wrapped up in your own drama. I realize that I don’t have to go as far as becoming a nun like Mother Teresa to do kind and generous things – that was her calling. Of course, if I ever get tired of waiting for Theodore (?) to show up, I know God’s always got a room reserved at the convent for me. But, I think I’ll wait for him……

In the meantime…..

Lord, Make me an instrument of Your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy. O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love; for it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

I gotta go….I’ve got some serious work to do!

Who’s With Me?

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Picture Day!

As I said earlier, I went to my friend’s house this weekend to take some nature pictures. As I went around snapping photo after photo, Patty searched for potential models to pose with the flowers. First, she found a tiny caterpillar, who was zippy and completely uncooperative. Then she found a Monarch caterpillar, who was kind of like working with one of those skinny models who never eats and is totally lethargic. Everywhere we placed him, he would just curl up and try to go back to sleep. And then we met Henry, the hoppin’ toad. He was a tiny fella, but he had some quick legs. He was a little skittish at first, but after a few shots, he really warmed up to the camera - eventually posing like a diva. After getting all the shots we wanted, we headed inside for a drink.

As we continued to talk photography, we laughed about how interesting it was that back in the day, taking a picture of a person, place, or thing was like freezing time. That photo captured a moment and told a story about that moment. But today, photography is all about illusion. If you take a family picture at dusk on a cloudy day, with Mom’s new hair color gone horribly wrong, Bobby’s blemished face, Harry’s poor sense of style, Grandpa’s bad attitude, and baby Ira screaming like a banshee - no big deal!

You can change reality. “It was in the middle of the afternoon on a bright sunny day and the sun brought out all the natural highlights in Mom’s hair. Bobby looks like a model, Harry’s shirt actually matches his pants, Grandpa was happy that day, and sweet baby Ira slept through the whole thing. Oh, and our dog, Scooter rose from the dead that day just to be with us. It was a glorious day!”

All that illusion talk reminded Patty of the crazy photo capabilities on her Mac computer. We had some serious fun distorting reality. I’m happy to say, that even on my worst day, I don’t look that bad. (That goes for Patty too!)

Monday, August 4, 2008

My Nieces and Nephews Help Convict Me

Unbeknownst to me, last Sunday was “Aunt’s Day”. Leave it to my sweet baby sister to not only know this, but honor it. On my way to a friend’s house Saturday, I decided to get the mail before I left the driveway. Inside, was a box addressed to me from my sister – yeh – I love surprises! I opened the box immediately to see what was inside. She had sewn me a cool backpack using funky green fabric I had picked out, a CD on Photography, and a CD marked, “Happy Aunt’s Day, 2008”. Little did I know, that CD contained evidence that would later help convict me.

The friend I went to visit lives on fifteen acres and had invited me to come and take pictures of her beautiful blooming gardens. This friend is also a Naturopath, who I plan to see professionally to help me stay healthy. We have known each other for years and I think it’s safe to say that she is the more disciplined one. We don’t see each other very often, but when we do, she quite often jokes about my sweet tooth and its potential effect on my health. I tell her that I rarely eat the stuff, but I’m never sure that she believes me.

I am so excited about the CD, that the moment I arrive at her house, I ask that we watch it. I’m expecting a music slideshow, so I sit back and relax. Well, there WAS a wonderful slideshow, but that was just the beginning of the entertainment. I have 18 nieces and nephews and my sister had arranged for each of them to stand in front of the camera and tell me how much they loved me and why. Adorable, right? Well, it was very sweet and touching and it would have been perfect, except EVERY SINGLE KID from ages 3-18 started their love confession by saying, “ I love your chocolate, I love eating ice cream at your house, you’re the best dessert maker ever, etc.” EVERY ONE OF THEM convicted me right there in front of my friend, the Naturopath!

It was like going to an AA meeting, proclaiming to be sober and then having all of your best friends stand up and talk about all the fun you had drinking last night. My friend was completely enjoying this moment, as I tried to defend myself, but she wasn’t buying it. Why should she? She had a school bus full of witnesses testifying on camera that what they loved about me first and foremost, was that I shared my sugar habit with them.


Sunday, August 3, 2008

I Must Choose Self Checkout!

I had to make a quick stop at the grocery store today for a few oddball items. When I had everything I needed, I headed to the check out. I’ve become a self-checker-outer over the years, so I rarely notice whether real, live, breathing cashiers are even open for business. I don’t know that I even look to see, but today as I walked by the human cashiers, I accidentally made eye contact with one of them – shoot – and she was very much, “open for business“. I’m telling you, she was begging me with her eyes to let her check me out. I felt terrible walking past her, as I made my way to the self check out. I'm certain she felt rejected – I’ve just chosen to do business with a computer screen instead of her smiling face. In choosing self check out, I’m essentially saying, “Even though I’ve never been trained to do this job, I feel confident that I can scan and bag these groceries better and faster than you can. Yes, I know you’re being paid to do this job, but I’m choosing the extra work for myself".

What‘s next? I’m gonna go to my mechanic’s garage, ask to use his lift, just so I can change my own oil? Or maybe, I’ll use the fancy swivel chair and scissors at the Salon to cut my own hair, while my stylist drinks his tea. Better yet, I’ll manipulate my own spine, right there in front of the chiropractor as he experiences a complete freak out – ‘cause he will!

In my defense, besides the health food stores, most grocery cashiers simply aren’t friendly. If you’re lucky enough to get a teenage person, you’ll actually get to experience what it’s like to feel invisible. At Whole Foods, they’re happy to converse with you while bagging your lettuce on top of everything, but back at the old grocery store, they chomp their gum and drop everything you purchased that day, smack dab on top of your five dollar fresh raspberries! Unacceptable!

I feel bad choosing technology over people, but I’ve experienced too much rejection over the years, and I just can’t put my produce at risk anymore. I must choose self-check-out!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Gotta Get To Canada! Gotta Beat The Snow!

I’m trying to book a flight to Canada to visit one of my best friends, but the flights are really pricey! I’ve got to get there soon because winter will be here before we know it, and I’m not going to Canada in the winter. My friend promises that the winter skiing is wonderful, but I don‘t care. Besides the fact that I don’t leave my home when it’s cold and snowing to travel to places where it’s also cold and snowing, I don’t ski terribly well.

I went on a New Year’s Eve ski trip fifteen years ago in Michigan. I had never skied before, but I wasn’t even concerned. I was naturally athletic and assumed that I would pick it up quickly. I assumed wrong.

Things started out bad right from the start. I couldn’t even walk in a straight line with those skis on. I took one step with my left ski. And then the right ski, attempting to step forward, would actually cross over the left ski. I had to tell my brain to pick up my foot and move it off the left ski. I took another step and then the right ski crossed the left ski again. I felt like I was learning to walk all over again.

After what seemed like an hour later, I finally reached the bunny hill, where my friend and her fiance’ were patiently waiting for me. They said a few trips down the bunny hill and I would be ready to go – great! I wasn’t looking too graceful on any of my runs, but they assured me that the best thing to do was to “Just Do It“. Ohhhkay!

We make it to the ski lift and the three of us jump on a seat together – me in the middle. As we make our way up the hill I realize that this ride never stops. If I don’t jump off this seat at just the right time, I’m going to get stuck on this ride, so I needed to be ready to jump. As we neared the top, I anticipated the perfect moment to dismount. Unfortunately, I pushed off against my friends so hard in my attempt to get out, that I literally pushed them back on and they were unable to exit the ride – oops!

So, there I am – standing at the top of this hill with only one way to get down. “Just Do It” they had said. So, I pointed my skis toward the bottom of the hill and off I went. WOW! I picked up some serious speed, which kind of freaked me out. I suddenly realized how moronic this whole idea was. “Just Do It?” Just do what? Fly down a mountainous hill at lightening speed wearing shoes that are longer than I am tall? Or, throw myself on the ground in an attempt to lessen the impact I was about to have with a pack of innocent “real” skiers waiting in line for the lift? OR, lose a ski in the middle of this joy ride and be forced to crawl up the hill one fingernail at a time to retrieve it, as ski lift riders enjoy a bird’s eye view of my natural athletic ability? I was exhausted. Was it time for lunch yet? Little did I know, that was just the beginning of my long and embarrassing day in Michigan. I’ve said many times that I lost all my pride on that mountain – and it’s true.

I gotta get to Canada NOW while it’s still warm, so I can go hiking and and have lunch with a grizzly bear!

( I did go skiing again a few years later in Colorado and took some lessons. Who knew lessons could be so helpful?)