Friday, April 20, 2012

Grayed Out

Shrouded by clouds and mist

Memories rise unbidden

Spaces are too large

Life flies but days crawl

Paths twist and turn and trip

Hills rise up into mountains

Salty rain spatters

Will the path smooth and straighten?

Or should the journey itself be enough?


Saturday, April 14, 2012

Myra isms

   I'm too small to have fun.  Small people never have fun.

Have we been good?  Are you going to tell Mom anything about us?
               I don't know.  What do you think?  Should we?

                No ..........   Yes    ..............    Maybe .................  I don't know.

My front teeth are getting ready to get loose.

               How do you know they're getting ready?

               They're packing up their stuff and getting ready to leave.

How do you know?  You're not the smartest person in the world.

Deano sometimes Meano.


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Baking Without An Oven

Have you seen this? 

I didn’t watch the Super Bowl so I missed it, and I fast forward through all the commercials on my DVR recordings so I’d never seen it at home.  But a couple of weeks ago it came on while I was on the elliptical machine.  I love, love, love, physical comedy so when bird-man slammed into the window I was SO close to bursting out laughing that I almost broke the number one rule of gym etiquette  “thou shalt not appear to enjoy the evil elliptical machine.”  Fortunately, in that half second before I let loose with the first snort I looked around, realized I wasn’t alone, and managed to restrain myself to a contorted grin that probably made me look like I was grimacing in pain and dying to get off the machine … which I was … and which I did.  Get off.  I didn’t die first but I did get off and I haven’t been back on it for two whole weeks. 

I wish I could say I haven’t set tennis shoe back on the elliptical because I’ve discovered a pain free, sweat free, enjoyable way to stay in shape and still eat the Girl Scout cookies people keep bringing to work.  I wish I could tell you I’d found a way to enjoy a five-ounce glass of wine at dinner without feeling guilty that it’s the equivalent of a small slice of sponge cake.  Holy Goddess of Grapes!!  Five ounces?  Get real.  I drool more than five ounces at night.  I’ve seen spit puddles on the sidewalk that were more than five ounces of slimy slobber.  Five ounces is nothing.  Nobody drinks a small slice of sponge cake.  Do they?  I’m not the only one drinking a humongous slice of sponge cake … half a sponge cake … hell … some nights even a whole sponge cake … with gooey frosting!  Am I?  

Anyway, getting back to the all-important topic of my health and physical fitness, I do not wear the crown and cloak of Queen of Guilt for nothing.  No, I may be free of my 35 minute Tuesday and Thursday elliptical routine but I have added a 60-minute Pilates class to my Monday-Wednesday routine in which I half expect to see smoke rising from my abdominal muscles and where I try not to groan (very much) out loud.  That’s immediately after my 60 minute Zumba class in which I am the only dancing board in a room filled with gyrating hips and shimmying shoulders.

The bad part about condensing my workouts from four days to two is that after my classes end I can barely shuffle out of the gym and fall into my car.  The hardest part is pulling my two quivering legs in after me, which is second only to trying to shove them out and lift them one at a time up the two steps to the porch once I get home. But the good part is, now I have Tuesdays and Thursdays free after work to do really fun stuff like dig up raspberry bushes and clean up flower beds.  Pretty soon I’ll get to mow the lawn.  And I can hardly wait until I can weed the garden! 

I’m so excited I think I’ll celebrate by munching on Doritos while I drink a sponge cake.


Friday, April 6, 2012

Hans Brinker Should Have Used Silicone

The other day as I was washing my hands in the bathroom at work I looked into the mirror and I saw a small chunk of wax stuck to some strands of my hair.  It was mid-afternoon which meant for the last six hours I’d talked to people, walked past people, worked with people and stood at the sink washing my hands with people, all with a chunk of wax hanging from my hair. 

Spending a day at work with wax dangling off my hair was a little embarrassing, although not as embarrassing as the day a pair of my underwear, stuck in my jeans, worked its way down and dropped out onto my shoe as I was walking across the parking lot at the mall.  But neither of those moments was as embarrassing as the time a large, dried up booger dropped out of my nose while I was talking to somebody at work.  If I had known there was a pebble-sized booger dangling by a nose hair I of course, would have removed it.  But I didn’t know.   So when it fell out of my nose and audibly plunked onto the desk I was surprised and then, so embarrassed I didn’t know how to react.  So I pretended like nothing had happened.  The woman I was talking with had said nothing to me previous to the release of the booger bomb, neither did she say anything when it detonated, but I can only imagine the minute she got away from me she doubled over, snorting hysterically ― and I don’t blame her.  That was truly embarrassing.  But what was even more mortifying was wondering how long my nose had been housing this booger projectile and how many other people I’d talked to before it finally let loose.  Maybe it’s just as well I will never know.

Consequently, even though I spent almost a whole day at work with wax dangling from my hair, I was only a little embarrassed because first of all, worse things have happened to me and secondly, there was a good reason for it ― Spring.  Now that spring has arrived it’s been warm enough outside to sleep with our bedroom windows open which means I’m trying to sleep while the robins are singing their night song, and I’m trying to sleep through the turtle doves as they coo their morning love song.  I’m also trying to sleep through our neighbor’s deep booming voice at approximately 10:00 p.m. when he tells his dogs to “hurry up”, the neighborhood sprinklers which turn on around 3:20 a.m. (or will in a few short weeks), the diesel truck across the street that warms up for 20 minutes early in the morning, and the chainsaw ripping through cords of wood lying next to me in bed.  Sleeping (or not) through that racket leaves me waking up bleary-eyed, cranky and sleep-deprived.

I decided I had to do something.  So I did.  My sister recommended these, and since she is a

long-time experienced user I took her advice and bought them.  The package specifically says to “avoid hair” so the first night I used them I tried really hard to keep my hair out of the way when I plugged my ear with a ball of “silicone putty”.  But while I was sleeping, my hair fell over my ears and when I woke up and pulled out the softened glob, one of them had gotten so stuck to my hair that it dangled like an earring and I ended up pulling some of my hair out before I could free it.  That worried me a little.  I wasn’t convinced the risk of going bald was worth a good night’s sleep.  I wasn’t sure the time it took to pull all those silicone covered hairs out of the glob I’d just released from my hair so I could use it again the next night was worth it either.

The second night I was much more careful.  I slept with my hair pulled back in a hair tie.  The next morning there were only a couple of hairs stuck in the glob.  I still ended up ripping those few hairs from my head when I tried to get the flattened silicone goop out but I felt like I was close to figuring these noise-reducing balls out.   By the third night I had it down.  No hair caught while mashing them in, no hair caught when I took them out.  Baldness averted!

Wadded up balls of “Pillow Soft Silicone” do feel a little strange in my ears for the first few minutes but that doesn’t last long.   Pretty soon I just feel kind of like I’m underwater without the panic I experience when water gets on my face.  I float peacefully through the night oblivious to the muffled sounds around me.  No annoying bird songs or booming voices or rhythmic sprinklers or clattering truck engines jolt me awake.  I barely move because now I don’t have to pull covers, flop from one side to the other, pull covers, flop, pull covers, flop, to get Dean to wake up just enough to turn over and stop snoring.  In my underwater world I don’t even know if the chainsaw is revved up and running next to me anymore. 

I wondered at first if Dean would be grossed out seeing me lie in bed with big globs of white goop in my ears but I don’t imagine ears packed with wax are really going to gross him out any more than seeing my  lower lip protrude after I insert my mouth guard.  Heck, I don’t think he’s even noticed them yet because I’m pretty sure if he had, he would ask me why my ears are bulging with white stuff.  Unless … maybe he’s asked me and I just haven’t heard the muffled question. 

I might be sleeping with globs of white silicone mashed in my ears and a plastic form making my lip look like a National Geographic photograph but at least when I wake up the bags under my eyes are a little smaller.  Of course, if the skin under my eyes isn’t bloated and swollen it reveals more wrinkles but what the heck.  At least I’m not tired.  Unfortunately, now that I’ve discovered how to sleep so hard I drool it’s possible I may, on occasion, accidentally walk around with chunks of wax in my hair.  I know that’s tacky but it could be worse; I could be walking around with a dried up booger perched precariously at the edge of my nostril.


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

If Wishes Were Horses

Last month we loaded up Leslie and the kids and went back to Nebraska for a long weekend.  While we were there, Pierce fell in love.  We had gone back for my niece's wedding and as everybody knows, the feelings of love and hope and new beginnings spill over onto everybody as they watch two people promise to love and adore each other for all time ―  as they support their loved one's head over the toilet during bouts of vomiting, as they refrain from commenting on bad haircuts, as they gag discreetly during stinky farts, as they monitor out-of-control nose hair and yes, even as they silently eat their own soup while listening to the rhythmic slurping from across the table.  Even four-year old Pierce, who asked his mom to please ask the beautiful flower girl to dance with him, felt the love. 

I think this was Pierce’s first falling-in-love experience and when he did, he fell hard and he fell fast.  One look and it was over for him.  It was a transformation as miraculous and unexpected as watching a fat, slow and awkward caterpillar emerge from a chrysalis as a bright and graceful butterfly.  One minute this boisterous, teasing, monkey-like four-year old was chasing his sisters, the next he was standing quietly, eyes wide with adoration. 

You think he was looking adoringly at the beautiful flower girl?  She was beautiful, but his heart was not hers to take.  Even before he’d met and danced with her he had given it to somebody else.  He had given his heart to somebody he barely knew.  Somebody he’d met for the first time the night before ―  his Great Uncle Dave.  You might wonder what would cause Pierce to make a man he’d only known for a few hours his new best friend.  I’ll tell you.  A combine.   One nanosecond after Uncle Dave opened the door of a gigantic metal building and showed Pierce his big, red combine … and semi … and tractor … he became Pierce’s best buddy.  

And then … Uncle Dave opened another door to another big metal building and there was … ANOTHER tractor.   By then Pierce was looking up at Uncle Dave with unabashed adoration in his eyes. That is until Uncle Dave took him "to town" in his pickup truck and bought him a bright red toy combine just like the one in the building.  That's when the adoration turned into worshiping.

And then … later that morning … the heavens opened and rained down candy and puppy dogs.   Uncle Dave drove the tractor out of the building and took Pierce (and his sisters) for a ride up the road.  I can only

imagine that Pierce was thinking how great it would be if only  his dad could fit a gigantic metal building in their backyard so they could have a tractor too.

I worried a bit that being tossed aside like a rusty Hot Wheels and replaced by Dave might hurt Dean’s feelings but it didn’t seem to bother him.  And then it dawned on me that he might have fallen in love
too ― with that gigantic metal building.  He acted like it was just any other metal building you might see on any other farm, but I saw that droplet of drool fly from his beard as his body started twitching when he looked at all the space inside those four walls.  I know he was thinking about all the useless junk unique found objects he could store in a place like that if only … oh, if only… he had a building like that. 

During the trip back home Dean was reinstated to his previous status with Pierce and all was back to normal.  During a ten hour car ride there's plenty of time to be alone with your thoughts and I have a feeling both Pierce and Dean were thinking about combines and tractors and gigantic metal buildings.  I can't swear to it, but during that one quiet moment when the Netflix movie wasn't playing on the Kindle Fire, Myra wasn't trying to convince her mom she "wasn't criticizing" and Emerson wasn't wishing my iPhone battery hadn't died during Angry Birds ... during that single quiet moment, I think heard "if only ..."