Friday, January 30, 2009

I laughed all day.

Today, an associate sat nearby me in the cube of a close neighbor who is out sick.

She had a high squeaky voice, which was funny enough. She's a little bitty thing and the voice matched. Utterly cute.

Then she laughed.

It sounded like a 300 lb trucker. I almost wet myself.

Me, I sound like a stripper. Honest. Call me.

$2.99 per minute, credit cards accepted.

My Favorie Movies, in no particular order:

Robin Hood, Men in Tights (with Cary Elwes, yum)

Same Time Next Year-- Alan Alda

The Love Letter-- Campbell Scott

Gone With The Wind

You've got Mail

Pride and Predjudice-- with Colin Firth

Bridget Jones-- both of them

America's Sweethearts

Nine Months

Notting Hill


My Happy Place...

I love going to France. And the UK. And I love it when I can go to both in an hour.

Yep, World Showcase. Epcot was the first Disney park I ever went to. We did it first because I was afraid the kids wouldn't want to go to Epcot if they went to the others first. We needn't have worried.

Whatever my mood, I find myself smiling as I get near International Gateway.

I make the turn at the bridge and head straight for France. I have a smattering of French blood and a smattering of the lingo. Well, if a smattering is what you get from 7th grade French class 3/4 of the way through the previous millennium, that's what I got. Watching Beauty and the Beast 17 million times also helped. Bonjour! Oui! Oui!

I walk around the pavilion and soak it up-- then I head for the pastry shop. If I knew enough French, I'd realize that they are probably laughing at my feeble attempts to communicate with them. Merci! Eclair!

Thoroughly chagrined (is that a word?) I head for UK where I can talk real language. I get there and realize that I am yet feeble. My Redneck can't hold a candle to the Kings English. Grail! Grail! Hooh!

I head straight for Twinings and drool over the china teapots. I collect teapots and have no more room for another. Slobber.

I buy more tea to go with the tea I have at home. I am mentally planning my next tea party. I don't get much feedback from the tea parties-- Fluffy, Mr. Wiggles and Furrball just never say much about it.

I continue around the Showcase and just soak in.

I am happy.
Another Dirty Secret....

This one is a BIGGIE.

I love Ace of Cakes. Just adore it. Duff is hilarious and Geoff is just hot. (This last part has traumatized my youngest daughter.... "MOM! That's so gross!")

It's cake.

Part of it's appeal is just the chemistry of all the folks-- and I love Baltimore. I love the Inner Harbor and the Aquarium and Fort McHenry.

And it's CAKE.

I'm a sap for anything historical.

Did I mention it's cake?

What's not to love?
I want to Move IT Move IT!

To Tahiti, that is.

No phones, no lights, no motor cars, not a single luxury...

WHOA-- channelling Gilligan. Whom I happen to think was quite hot, that hat did it for me. (Kate thinks I should be under psychiatric care for that)

Again, off chasing rabbits.

My dream is to live in a beach hut in Tahiti. My wardrobe would consist of a sarong and a coconut bra. Maybe a pair of sandals too. And a grass skirt for when I go star gazing.

No phone whatsoever. No lights, no alarm clocks-- I'd rise and fall with the sun. No food processor-- I'd have time to chop everything and cook over an open fire.

I'd walk everywhere so I'd be tanned and fit I'd let my hair go completely gray.

I'd search the woods for herbs and make herbal remedies and love potions and sell to visitors so I could trade for a chicken for Sunday dinner.

I'd have a native house boy to hang around the hut. He'll teach me French and I'd bake him a cake.

I really like cake.

Please don't wake me up. I'm liking this one. A lot.

Time to go to the Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Room!

Thursday, January 29, 2009


I dream. A LOT.

I dream in Technicolor-- okay, Technicolor on steroids. More like Technicolor on LSD. I've never done LSD, so it's really my imagining what it would be like. If it's anything like an inner ear infection, I'm there. We are comrades.

I dream crazy things.

The other night I dreamt my mother gave me a hot pink kitten and a hot pink cat and I spent a lot of time trying to keep them hidden from the Man Who Lives Here since he is anti-cat. As I was regaling him with my adventure, he said, "Now why did she give you hot pink cats?" I said that it was probably because she ran out of the neon green ones.

Don't tell my daughter Amy, but the other night I dreamed she had twins. She would think I was trying to jinx her.

I've had a recurring dream for years. Hold on-- this one gets weird.

I wake up and see the Man next to me in bed and I say to myself, "Who is that boy in my bed?"

I stare at him for a while and still can't figure it out. Then I ever-so-slowly get out of the bed and get in the closet. After a few moments, I find a pair of undies to put on under my nightgown and wiggle into them. I wiggle because invariably I find a pair of undies sized 2T (my youngest daughter is just weeks away from 21-- why are these still here?) and I squeeze my ample derriere into them.

I get back into bed with the boy I don't know and stare until I fall back asleep.

The next morning I awake to find my legs purple and stinging from the 2T undies and I realize I've been visited by the Crazy Fairy---- AGAIN.

There is a monster living in the Man's closet. If the door is open even a bit, I dream about the monster. He asked me what's in my closet. I say, "Clothes, of course. What else would be in a closet?"

Remember in all those really bad UFO movie when you can see the outline of a closed door and you can tell there is a very bright light inside the room? My master bath has that exact same quality-- and when the Man gets up to hide in there during the night, I see the door outline and think there are UFO's in there. There is something unidentified going on in there.

Other times I have had constructive dreams. When I first learned to title search, my brain was spinning. One night I went to bed and dreamt how to search a title and the next day I could do it like I'd been doing it forever. Two years later, I was working for myself. Twenty two years later, I closed up shop and moved to Florida.

I daydream a lot too. I find myself smiling at a cobweb in the corner of the room for absolutely no reason. You have to struggle to pull me out of it, too.

Sometimes you should listen to your dreams. Sometimes you should just wake up.
Many men can't hold their liquor.

My husband can't hold his Ginger Ale.

Twice now, he's dropped a can of Ginger Ale on the kitchen floor and it's burst to high heaven.

The first time it went straight up like Old Faithful. I was finding drops of Ginger Ale inside cupboards for months. It even got the ceiling and it's 11 feet up!

Needless to say, I was not amused but helped him clean it up because he was getting a migraine and I pitied him.

The second time, I chose to not attend the pity party. He aimed it a little differently and it sprayed my dining room like a bottle rocket... the table, the chairs, the chandelier and the carpet. He even got the cat. That was the closest I've heard him to cursing in years. There may have been some, but it must have been in Klingon.

Today was the day the big carpet cleaner got pulled out to remedy the carpet.

The kicker is that, although I don't drink sodas and was not the room when these incidents occured, it's my fault.

Apparently I need to buy Ginger Ale that is packaged in a quality can so as not to burst when he drops it from 4 feet onto a hard surface.

I think I'll go buy some now.

If anyone is looking for me, I'll be shopping. I'm in charge of buying the Ginger Ale for the next pity party. And I need a new outfit for it.
I am still a fat girl.

There, I said it.

I've recently lost 35 lbs, but in my head, I'm still a fat girl.

I have a shape now--- actually, I've always had a shape. Round is still a shape. My thighs no longer rub together so my pantyhose don't catch fire from the friction if I have a long, quick walk going. I like the way my legs look, and I've dropped from a size 18 into mostly 12's, depending on the cut. I still have my bodacious tata's and that makes me happy.

It's an accomplishment for me. I've tried everything that came down the pike. Nothing worked for long, if it worked at all. I found something that works for me and I'm happy with it. I have 35 lbs more to go until I'm at my goal, but 5 over my goal is still something I won't scream about. I plan to be there in July.

I am an emotional eater, and I know it, so I only have healthy munchies around now. I find that if my emotions get in a twist, a long walk helps more.

I grew up po'. I mean, WAY po'. I stockpile food like I'm expecting The Day After. I've always done that; I guess I felt like I was okay if there was plenty in the house. My daughter believes the chicken industry will stay afloat as long as I live. I was organizing my big freezer and found that 7/8 of it (21 cubic feet) was all chicken. I think for that they could send me a stinkin' coupon once in a while. Or a free chicken?

My double chin fell off along the way, along with most of the clothes in my closet.

Upside: I get to go shopping and buy cute clothes!

I eradicated my home of all those diet pills and empty promises.

I am very proud of myself!

Here's the downside:

The loss has brought up a bunch more emotional issues that I never expected. It seems that I've been holding on to my fat as a mechanism to keep me from other people. After all, everyone looks through the fat girl at the party, right?

It's almost like I'm grieving for the lost weight! I am NUTS! (I love nuts.. weakness alert!)

As long as I was fat and happy (as I thought I was), I was content to just stay inside and watch TV and not THINK about my weight. Now, I've been cleaning and reorganizing my house like I am possessed. Almost like nesting during pregnancy and that isn't the case for this old broad!!

Now I am motivated to go walking and I am constantly being asked if I am visiting someone in the neighborhood because folks don't recognize me! I am getting 'looks' (some good, some not so magical) at work from people who never had anything to do with me before.

I knew a girl back home who lost 30 lbs and she went wild. Divorced her husband, left her child, starting buying clothes left and right. She'd keep the tags, wear them once, and return them the next week. If she liked them, she'd keep them to wear a few times and then sell them.

I still have my fat clothes, just in case.

I was (and still am) very determined for this flab to flee, and now I'm wondering if it will open a whole 'nother can o' worms when it's gone. I knew who I was before; now I'm not so sure I still will.

That fat girl is still in my mirror. When will she leave?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Godspeed, Murph ...

I lost a friend this week.

Considering I live in a retirement development, that isn't surprising. But Kathy was only 55 and no one knew she was ill.

You can't really just describe Murph as a friend. She kept to herself, but she was outgoing. She was one of the first people to welcome us here and was glad we were here.

She was larger than life, but her poodle, Jazzy, always had bows on her ears and Murph doted on that dog. She would do anything for her. As a matter of fact, Jazzy belonged to Murph's neighbor and was being mistreated. She went over, confronted them and picked up the dog. Then she moved with Jazzy so they couldn't find her and try anything.

Murph had a big booming laugh and you always knew if she was there. She was smart and funny and filled a room by the sheer force of her personality. She was unmarried but I would have been comfortable sending her off as an escort for my husband if necessary.

She's going to be missed. So very much. It won't be the same here without her.
Another Dirty Secret....

I can't make a decent meatloaf. Nope, I can't. I've tried a million different recipes. I think it comes down to this--- I don't like meatloaf, never have. Logic, eh?

Problem is--- I don't like mashed potatoes either, but I can make some mean taters. My husband loves meatloaf and mashed potatoes. Bully for him.

I am terribly complicated.

I had been married just a little while when I decided to tackle Veal Parmigiana. Who need s a recipe for that? It's a breaded veal patty, spaghetti sauce, and cheese. How hard can that be?

I pulled my little masterpieces out of the oven and immediately struck by their appearance. The were flat..... and brown. Not very appetizing, but I figured if he ate my meatloaf, this would be a treat!

I do need to apologize in advance to any buffalo, buffalo owners, or just folks who like buffalo. These flat brown discs looked just like buffalo chips. Actually, they would need a face lift to look as good as buffalo chips. It must have been because they were brown and steamy.

To back up for a moment, I must expound on my dishes. As a young innocent (read as STOOPID) bride, I happily purchased a set of snow white Correle Ware, four place settings. I say happily, as it may have been my first purchase where I used some common sense. They were white-- and matched everything! They were unbreakable and would outlive me! I could bequeath them to my children. I was using my noggin! It was a new and heady feeling.

I lovingly displayed my piles of.... er-- my veal masterpiece on my snow white unbreakable dishes, and covered both plates with pot lids so as to keep them piping hot for my beloved. I innocently called him to dinner. (enter blue birds untying my apron strings)

I explained the dish to him and he cocked his eyebrow at me (in a disbelieving sneer, now that I've learned what the look really means) and removed his lid. I did as well.

He says, "I'm not eating this."
I say, "Yes, you are." (I don't say this anymore)
He says, "No, I'm not eating this", and pushes it away.
I say, "OH Yes, you are." (another one deleted from my vocab) I push it back.
He says, "I'M NOT EATING THIS %&$*." Push away. Again.
I say, "OH YES YOU ARE!!!!" (a quick learner I am not)

He picks up one of the pot lids, and in a lovely tennis overhand arc, smashes it down. On my plate. AND BREAKS MY UNBREAKABLE PLATE!!!! Shatters it. And shattered my psyche in a thousand shards.

This was too much for my feeble brain to handle. I leaped to my feet and grabbed my chair. In my best lion tamer moves, I screeched, "$&#^$*% *$#$*% &$%*&#", don't ask me to translate. It wasn't my prettiest moment.

At this point, my brain shorted out. I threw the chair at him. This becomes a theme for the first 10, okay maybe 15, years of my marriage.

My chair shatters.

I have never attempted Veal Parmigiana since.

Lesson learned.
Who are you??

I am Polly's daughter.

I am Hazel's granddaughter.

I am Katie's great-granddaughter.

I come from a long line of strong women. Tough, hard women. Women who live forever.

Katie married her cousin in 1890 and went on to raise her own family. Then, when they were grown, she raised two of her granddaughters... my mother and my Aunt Doris.

She taught them how to cook, how to be good wives, and she taught them about Jesus. She was tough in a gentle way... my mother adored her.

Hazel was a hard, hard woman. She lived hard and she played hard. She was divorced in a day when it was a scandal; she had a child with a common-law husband, and then buried two more wedded husbands. We thought she'd live forever, and she darn well tried.

She chased us, waving her metal cane. She cursed at us and made us afraid of her. She was tough. She also loaned me $80 for my electric bill when I was the only one working and had trouble making ends meet. She also doted on my children. They still didn't escape the cane, though. :-)

My mother would have lived forever if she had seen that SUV. She was 79 and in good health for her age. She looked like she was about 60 or 65. She lost her husband when she was 48 and finished raising her youngest kids.

I miss her every day and wish I'd been a better daughter. I've learned to look at the blessings rather than the emptiness.

She was blessed in that she never knew the sorrow of losing a child. We were blessed in that she never forgot one of us, either. Her death was instant, so she didn't suffer. And we know to be absent from here she was instantly with her Lord. Many blessings.

She adored my kids, too. She liked to be sneaky and trick them-- she'd play Hungry Hungry Hippo with them and position herself downhill because her floor wasn't level, and all the marbles would just roll to her hippo while the kids were frantically trying to get marbles. Then she'd cackle. I heard that cackle come from my daughter a few days ago. It was comforting. :-)

She's never far away from me-- I see her every time I look in the mirror.

My fathers mother lived to be 93. Another tough old bird, but I know little about her, except for what I've heard from my oldest sisters.

I've got really good genes. If I'd thought about how long the rest of these women lived, I'd have taken better care of myself earlier. Now it's time for catch-up.

With genes like this, I'm barely middle-aged. :-)

This blog could have longevity. Sit back and start a pot of tea. You could be here a while.
Okay, I admit it. I am a Kitchen Gadget Freak. I can't pass the gadget aisle in any store. I gaze at egg slicers and spatulas the way most women covet a Vera Wang gown. If I got a box o' gadgets for Christmas, I'd be in gadget heaven. Now you know my dirty secret.

Worse than having a kitchen full of these critters, I cannot keep them hidden. They are ART, for goodness sake! I must display them! My drawers are empty and my counters are full. Logic says that if I don't see it, I won't use it. I must obey logic, right? I thought so too-- at least we agree :-)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Influence is a CHOICE

I know, it sounds like a cliche. You really can choose!

YOU have the power to influence YOU. Remember the angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other? Well, they're still there. You have the power to choose which one to listen to. In this PC country, we call them positive thoughts and negative thoughts. Same thing.

Who ya gonna listen to? Peter Pan or stinkin' thinkin'?

Lets see the choices. Say you work in a place where you take calls all day. You have someone call and they have a horrible attitude.

Choice 1: Snap back.
Choice 2: Stay calm and collected.

Lets follow Choice 1-- you give it back just a good as they gave it. Both your blood pressures rise and things get heated. They crack and get abusive and you hang up on them, shaking and nearly in tears.

Choice 2-- Stay calm and let them vent while listening for what's really bothering them. Apologize profusely, even--- and here's the big thing-- even if it's NOT YOUR FAULT. Try to offer a solution and let YOU be the one that solves their concerns. By the time you get off the phone, they think you are wonderful.

There you have two choices that can affect your day AND their day. Your health and their health. Your outlook and theirs.

Don't stop growing. :-) Think happy thoughts.
My favorite potluck recipe--

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

1 package frozen meatballs
1 jar grape jelly
1 jar chili sauce

Put meatballs in crockpot; pour chili sauce and jelly over meatballs. Don't bother to mix it up-- it'll take care of itself. Cook on Low for 4 hours and stir. Cook 4 more hours.

Kudos go out to my good friend Pam, back home in Delaware. She told me this recipe at a potluck at our church, the Dagsboro Church of God... the best church in the world. She's a much better cook than I, and I thank her for her patience with me.