Not My New Year’s Resolutions:
Lose 50 pounds
Exercise Every Day
Eat more vegetables
Eat less potato chips
Be kinder to my family
Be kinder to strangers
Blah blah de flamin’ blah.
Who does that, anyway, I mean, ok so maybe that first week, they skip the fries and eat an apple at lunch, then the gradual slide back into old habits…first it’s getting the chunk of bread at Panera instead of the apple. Then it’s the last handful of Chex mix (really, it’s left over from Christmas, don’t want to let it go to waste!) at 2pm (since lunch was
creamy broccoli soup, and everyone knows soup is good for you)and before you know it, you’re going “oh to heck with it. I want a large fries, please.”
Then there’s the exercise. I should. I know. I’m seeing a physical therapist now because I sit on my arse too much and they have me doing stuff to strengthen those internal “core” muscles (how come I never heard of “core” muscles before? He told me that “we”…don’t you love how they say that, as if he’s right there next to me yanking on a stiff rubber cord when in reality,he’s sitting in a chair making notes and sipping a latte…where was I?) oh yeah, core muscles. “it’s not the pretty ab muscles everyone likes to look at” he said to me. “It’s the internal ones no one ever pays attention to. That’s what we’re (WE again…*sips latte*) concentrating on”. Well ok. Maybe I’ll actually do some exercising. I intended to walk the track in the mornings after dropping #4 at school, it’s right across the street, but every time I meant to, it would rain, or be cold, or my walking shoes had a cat poo in them, or the tracksuit was dirty or feeling a little tight that morning thanks to the
fries apple I had for dessert last night.
A couple…well ok…SIX years ago…ok (sigh) 7 years ago I belonged to a gym, and would drop #4 at school then go work out for an hour and 1/2 or 2…(really!) and I loved it. No weight was lost. I didn’t find any more either tho, and all the wobbly parts firmed up enough that I was happy wearing a sleeveless shirt. I am going to do that again. BUT NOT BECAUSE IT’S THE NEW YEAR. Let me make that abundantly clear. I am doing it because I am enjoying the stuff the physical therapist prescribes. I will put on my not very trendy hot pink tracksuit (which makes me look like a bottle of Pepto Bismol) and chug away on a treadmill and with weight machines 3-4 times a week, and since it’s being paid for, it will get done. I am Scottish, therefore I *will* get my money’s worth and maybe more.
So. I will likely continue to consider potatoes a vegetable. If they’re fried in peanut or corn oil, that makes it twice the vegetable. Do not correct me on this. I live in the South. Potatoes, peanuts and corn are totally vegetables here.
I probably won’t be much kinder to my family. I love them but if I were to suddenly lose the sarcasm and become sweet and gentle, they’d all assume a brain tumor and I don’t want to inflict that kind of emotional trauma on them. It wouldn’t be very kind.
I am already (sort of) kind to strangers, unless they’re blocking the aisle in the store, or their kids are brats, or I don’t like what they’re wearing, or…who am I kidding. I am not kind to strangers and once again, if I suddenly became that way (insert brain tumor scenario). It’s not that I am some sort of misanthrope, but kindness is not a character quality I possess. I can be generous. I usually like helping people who need it and over the years I have grown some semblance of an ability to empathize, but kindness…that’s like…I don’t know what it’s like, because I don’t have it. No diplomacy either. That’s Terry’s territory.
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and there’s still a cheeseball in the fridge!
Mom and Dad were here, the boys were all here, there was food and little plastic animals that pooped jellybeans and a general excess of frivolity (if you can even have such a thing).
My parents are aging, no doubt about that. It’s hard to see, but I also know it’s the natural course of things. I suppose as their child there is still a vestige of “parents are immortal”. Terry commented that we are the ages our parents were when we started having kids. It was kind of sad to see them slowing down, especially Mom. Dad is still the busybody gotta-have-something-to-do that he’s always been, nervous and twitchy if there isn’t something productive to do, so Terry put him to work in the shop assembling his new bandsaw and getting the roller extension put on the tablesaw. Then Dad fixed the burner on the stove that wasn’t working right, then we ran out of projects for him and they had to go home.
Mom is really slowing down. If she can do those things she has taught for a million years, she’s fine, but the other stuff, or if she’s a little bit out of her element, she seems confused or moves really slowly. I know that it happens,and I am beginning to understand the frustration people have with elderly (I never really thought of them as elderly,but at 73 and 74, I guess they are) parents. It’s an effort to remember that things slow down, the mind, the ability to process stuff and physically respond,it all slows. Patience is required, it’s essential. I am thankful for the time spent years ago, working in a nursing home. It prepared me for what’s happening now. I don’t like it, it’s sad,but it is also the natural course of life.
But, this year, this Christmas, was fun. The event that may stick firmest in our minds happened last night about 6pm. Most of us were sitting in the living room watching Evil Roy Slade when we heard something that sounded like a gentle but rapid rainfall followed by the rapid bouncing of…something. I started giggling (because the alternative wasn’t very pleasant) when I realized #4 just spilled his bag of 10,000 plastic bbs…on a the wood floor of the dining room. It was very quiet in there, save for the gentle rolling sound of multitudinous bbs. #4 was very quiet as well. It was easily dealt with thanks to the vacuum cleaner and Rusty the Dog who discovered he could lap them up and spit them in his food bowl (seeing is believing).
So it’s all done but for the memories. And the rogue bb that made it past the vacuum cleaner.
And, because I’m nice, a picture for you to enjoy.
There sure is a lot of build-up for Christmas, isn’t there? Months of planning (or not, maybe weeks, or I hear some people actually wait until Christmas Even then go “OH NO IT’S CHRISTMAS EVE!” and then run in a panic to the nearest Walmart to purchase a ready made gift basket of Mango scented soap and lotion for their Significant Other who’s tastes run toward Chanel no5) and it all comes down to this maybe 2 hours (less at our house, as people are very efficient when it comes to Christmas) of OH WOW! I always wanted this (mango scented soap)…
actually around here it’s not really like that. I give Terry and the boys all sorts of credit for following the rules I established 25 years ago: no fruit scented soaps and No Gifts That Require Power Cords. That means no appliances.
Anyway, I do not particularly subscribe to the Jesus Is The Reason For The Season thing either. I mean, yes, it’s when the Western Christian Church has chosen to celebrate His birth, but really, people. It’s when the missionaries said to the European Pagans that they were not allowed to celebrate yule or any other midwinter party and the Pagans told them to go f**k themselves so the Missionaries said “Well ok but we’re going to make it Jesus’s Birthday, in order to give it credibility.” The whole tree/holly/shrubbery-in-the-house thing is pagan in origin, I reckon,because I read and read and read all through the Gospel’s accounts of Jesus’s birth and found no sort of reference to pine trees in the living room.
However, I have one. Also greenery kind of around. And poinsettias,which also aren’t mentioned anywhere and also are semitropical and in nature, bloom in the summer. But they’re pretty so that’s ok. There’s also snowflakes,of the manmade sort, and snowflakes were not mentioned in the Gospels either. in fact, all accounts point to Jesus’s birth being sometime in the Spring, what with flocks in the fields by night and that whole census thing, because the Romans were actually pretty well organized and knew that the best time for people to travel would be Spring, not Winter.
But who cares about logic! It’s Christmas! And I am going to do it My Way!
You see, right before Thanksgiving, the day before The
Outlaws inlaws were due to arrive, I was all stressed out and barking and being a real bitc…er…hardas….er…I was being Not Very Pleasant about the state of the house not being perfect and nervous about MotherOutLaw and the possibility of criticism and stuff,and my son, my easy going and perpetually mellow eldest,said to me “Mom. You’re supposed to enjoy holidays. Letting them stress you like this defeats the purpose of having one.”
That set me back on my heels and I replied “You are absolutely right.” So, in the interest of enjoying them and not stressing about my sweetly critical mother being critical, I’ve Made Arrangements.
In the form of a hotel room for them for the 3 days they’re going to be here. Then she can’t complain about the bed (which is the same size as hers at home) being too small, or the suspicious stain on the bathroom floor. And Cheeseballs. and a HoneyBaked Ham with ready made sides. (which I need to go get today. Thank you Ken, for the gift certificate!)
Because I am NOT going to get worked up this time. Who am I trying to impress, anyway? My parents, the Unimpressable?
No. I reject stress. I actively shove it out the door with a can of stale danish cookies and say “thanks but no, I am not interested.” In it’s place, I have a gallon jug of apple cider that will go into the crock pot with some whole cloves, a cinnamon stick, and cardamom seeds. A box of crackers and a can of nuts, and if anyone wants anything else to eat, they can have leftover ham on a roll, or pay for all of us to eat Chinese.
because dammit, that’s how I roll these days.
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In just 2 short weeks, it will be 2012. Hard to imagine, isn’t it! Why, just a few years ago, maybe 10 (?) I was sledding down the hill behind Westview Elementary School in Champaign,Illinois. I was 7 and we had one of those round saucer sleds where whoever pushed you down the hill could give it a spin and you’d be completely out of control and fall in a heap at the bottom of the hill, all dizzy and (if you’re like I am, with motion sensitivity) feeling a little like throwing up.
About a year ago, I was in college busy trying hard not to be upset that Terry was still engaged to Someone Who Wasn’t Me, making plans to sew him a leopard print shirt because Someone Who Wasn’t Me told him she thought leopard print shirts were stupid, but he always wanted one. It was all part of my nefarious plan to steal him out from under her. It worked, too. Bwahahaha…
6 months ago we had 3 young children and all those Parents Of Young Children worries, like…do we let them play with toy guns…and…what about organic food? Will they fail to thrive if we let them eat Jolly Rancher candies?
Last week they were graduating from high school…
3 days ago they moved out then about an hour later they moved back in…
and now I am staring at 2012 and I only just got used to writing 2001 on my checks. The good news is that 98% of our bill paying stuff is done online so checks are only written once in a while.
So I am wondering what to expect out of 2012? Truth be told, 2011 has kind of kicked my butt. Between STUFF with the kids and STUFF with the spouse and STUFF in my head and all kinds of other STUFF, both physical and existential, I am ready for 2011 to be done and gone. I might even throw the calendar away. Usually I keep my calendars, the book type that has all appointments and menus and phone numbers in them, in case I am ever called to be someone’s alibi, or have to prove I was no where NEAR Candace from Newark when someone stabbed her in the eye for flirting with their husband. But I am so disgruntled with 2011 overall, that I might even be willing to say “it could have been me” just to have something interesting to say about the year.
SO my plans for 2012 involve getting my vegetable beds back in order. Terry has this guy working with him who owns an all organic berry farm in Michigan, and he is giving me useful advice on fertilizing and such. I look forward to green peas and salad and decent tomatoes.
I am hopeful that my kids will finally be on some sort of career oriented track, with 2 in college and 1 in the Navy (or some form of the military).
I am anticipating Terry’s job calming down and becoming more sensible where work hours are concerned. 2011 was full of 14 hour days and 7 day work weeks for (quite literally, this is not exaggeration) months at a time. He’s getting lieutenants, people he will supervise but will also do the day to day stuff so he can focus on the bigger picture. Dinner at a decent hour, maybe a weekend off now and then, perhaps even a chance to do some traveling again.
As for me, personal stuff? I just want to stay alive, and I am making it a goal to be 2 degrees less of a smart ass. Goals need to be manageable, y’know. If I said “I will not be a smart ass in 2012″ that would be like saying “I am going to be a size 10 by June” and the only way that would happen is if I suddenly contracted concurrent tapeworms and Dengue Fever. no thanks.
What are your plans or desires for 2012?
Filed under: Good grief
I’m not much of a cusser. I know people who it seems every third word out of their mouths makes me want to pull a bar of Octagon soap out of the purse and give them a good tongue scrubbing.
I do, however, have a short list of commonly used “socially unacceptable” (tho, these days they’re far more acceptable than when I was a kid) words that are employed in circumstances involving frustration or…well, frustration.
When something breaks,whether it’s a coffee cup or my left littlest toe, out comes “SHIT!”. Depending on the level of egregiousness of said event, the volume and repetition of “SHIT!” varies. A coffee cup, particularly one of a set purchased from Target for $1.50 each usually garners “well shit.” A little toe, slammed against a door frame at 2 am that included an audible CRUNCH and was accompanied by a muffled (briefly) wail, results in “OH SHIT SHITTY SHIT SHIT!” along with a little bit of hopping and followed by a prolonged lean against the bathroom sink whilst attempting to recover enough to not throw up in the sink. I think I deserve a cookie for that one, particularly since I did the exact same thing 2 weeks later,and believe you me, breaking a toe the second time DEFINITELY hurts worse than the first time. I think I get a pass on the language, much of it blasphemous, that erupted that second time.
A while back, I was having a conversation with Peaches, the preacher’s wife. She asked me if I ever cussed.
“yes,” I replied, “but all I ever really say is ‘shit’ or ‘asshole’.”
She was appalled. “That’s TERRIBLE!” she replied. “SO RUDE!”
“Well,” I asked her, “Do you ever cuss?”
“Yes, I sometimes say ‘damn’ or ‘hell’.”
I was appalled, that a preacher’s wife would say such things. And I told her that too. At least all I say are things that smell bad!
She conceded that I had a point there.
And, I don’t let my kids cuss until they’re 16. At least not around me. I have no illusions about what they said as they were smoking cigarettes Robbie stole from his Dad whilst sitting behind Big Rock 2pm on Saturday afternoons and looking at Alfie’s father’s stolen Penthouse magazines.
I remember as a child, certain words that are in common usage now that were oooooooh naughty, and the little frisson of delight that would go down our backs when we said them. I remember being fussed at by teachers for saying them. Even today I still have that little “oooo” deep inside when I say them, like I know shouldn’t be, but do anyway. And my kids? They don’t think twice about them.
Boobies (or variations such as boobs, hooters and ta-tas)
There are words I do NOT use, because I will taste Octagon Soap if I do. It doesn’t particularly bother me if someone else uses them, because…well…because it doesn’t, tho I admit to a certain disturbance in my Southern Sensibility that time we went to Manhattan and I heard a well dressed businesslike woman talking on her cellphone and her conversation was this nonstop harsh clanging of curse words, and I thought that was so unnecessary. She wasn’t even angry, it was as if that was how she always talked, and that was a little shocking to my Coconut Cake and Brunswick Stew self.
I’m not even going to use those words here. Because it’s almost Sunday and I am out of Octagon Soap.
Filed under: Uncategorized
Ok y’all, a monster has been created. Go here and vote for #89 and 90, and these ones. Because you can, you love me and I said so.
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: Inappropriate elf, Kim kardashian's butt, The Elf on the Shelf
Y’know, that cutesy kids book. Well, I heard of this and had to participate. I hadn’t bought a single thing for Christmas other than a little bit of stuff, but nothing really FUN, y’know. And because of THIS PERSON I heard of that up there and decided TO HELL WITH LITTLE KIDS, because I don’t have any and I wanted an Elf to do naughty things to. Because it’s been hard this year and I WANT SOME FUN.
I have to say, the older boys are totally into it. Will had the brilliant idea to give the elf heavy eyelids and wires in it’s arms and legs for positioning.
I think the elf will become like a silent scream,a doppelganger, that outlet for all the things I would do if I didn’t have a middle aged housewife’s Presbyterian Sensibilities.
Because honestly…truly…is there anything more important that Kim Kardashain’s butt? Not according to USA Today.
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He didn’t see anything wrong,except the obvious pain issue, SO…physical therapy was prescribed. YAY! it’s what I was hoping for! That and Aleve on a regular basis. There’s only one place in town that takes our insurance, so…well…the therapy won’t start until tuesday and that kind of sucks. That’s a long time to wait when everything between your boobs and your knees hurts enough to make a Good Southern Presbyterian cuss like a longshoreman.
Back pain is a nebulous thing. It’s like…y’know…BACK PAIN. It’s not like a knee thing, where they can look at a picture of your knee and go “oh yeah, your kneecap is out of whack” or you hip and say “oy, you’ve got no cartilege”. It’s more like…ok, we know what ISN’T wrong so maybe this is what it is,but we don’t know for sure. It could be as simple as a rotten pair of shoes or the wrong posture. Here, we’ll send you to Lars the Physical Terrorist who will shame you mercilessly for your couch potato ways.
So anyway, my back still hurts but somehow knowing it will soon be pummeled into submission is enough to make me feel better. A little.
and now i am going to take a nap, because 2am was 12 ago, and there’s still a solid 6 hours before bedtime.
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I’ve been up since 2am it’s approaching 5:30am now). About that time I tried rolling over in bed and my back said O HELL NO and, because Terry is out of town until Friday, I had the freedom to curse loudly. Rusty, the dachshund puppy we got back in the Fall, sat on my head and licked my ear.
We finally have a sympathetic dachshund. These dogs are known for their self centeredness, but Rusty, (Russell Sprout, Rust Bucket, Shithead) actually showed some kindness, in his dim puppy sort of way. The other dogs would have taken my pillow and wondered why I hadn’t fed them yet.
Honestly, I briefly considered calling an ambulance. It hurt that bad. Then it settled down, with the turning up of the heating pad and the finding of a more comfortable position. Standing up helped. But who wants to do that at 2am, unless it’s to pee then crawl back under the warm covers and go back to sleep? Plus, the phone was clear on the other side of the
county bed, and I really didn’t feel like reaching for it. I mean, REALLLLY didn’t feel like it.
So,against doctor’s orders, because honestly, it’s Just This Once, I took another
horsepill Big Motrin. I do not recommend doing this. If anyone takes this as medical advice I will call you nuts. I am NOT a medical professional.
But…I got things to do. #4 needs to be gotten up in about 30 minutes to get ready for school. #3 (he spent the night here. I do not know why, as he has a very comfortable bed in his own house that he pays rent on)needs to be stirred for work. I’m going to get #3 up and ask him to wake up #4 because #4 is upstairs and #3 is downstairs, and that’s 15 steps up or 3 steps down. You do the math. Also, they can fix their own breakfasts and lunches. #4 will wake up #2 around 7, so #2 can drive #4 to school at 8. Then #2 will wake up #1 at 10,and one of them will take me to the orthopedist (FINALLY…longest 3 days of my life except for the time I was in labor with #4) at noon. *AND! (this is one of those “Oh cool! Thanks,God!” moments) I got a text message from one of the carpooling moms who said “I’ll pick up the boys from basketball practice this afternoon”, completely spontaneously without asking or anything.
Is this how Moms are? We suck it up and forge ahead, doing what needs to be done in the interest of a smooth running household? I know my mom did this. She would have migraines, and allowed herself 2 hours of dark silence, then plowed forward. The only time I remember her in real infirmity was in the early 1970′s, when she had a hysterectomy and was hospitalized for a while. We went to a friend’s house for lunch and after school,until Dad picked us up after work. I find myself in a better frame of mind if I can get a few things done during the day. A batch of Christmas cookies made, some boxes packed, that sort of thing. It’s stuff that can be done without much bending over. Other things, like cleaning the bathrooms or dusting or sweeping and mopping…those have to slide or get passed off to one of the boys,who’s standards are not the same as mine. But that’s ok. No one has ever fallen over dead from dust bunnies.
I think of people I know who have it so much worse. One of my blogging buddies has cystic fibrosis, and just had a double lung transplant, yet even with hauling around oxygen tanks and all the stuff that goes with the disease, she homeschools her kid and raises goats. I’ve never had to haul oxygen tanks or had an organ transplant. She’s definitely a “suck it up and do the job” type. I know people with chronic insomnia, who rarely are able to stitch more than 2 hours together for sleep. I was able to get 5-1/2 last night. I have people here who are completely available to help out. For that, I am grateful. There are doctors available, insurance to help pay, and seatwarmers in my car to make the ride easier. I am VERY thankful this is happening now, and not 20 years ago when I had very small children. I have so very much to be thankful for, in spite of the knife in my lower back,and I am.
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I can do this One More Day. An appointment was made to see the orthopedist tomorrow at noon, for this back problem. I remember having a talk with him last year about the back problem, and he said “come back for a full evaluation and we’ll see what’s going on.” I never did. Why go see a doctor when there’s nothing going on, right? Right!
Friends have said “see a chiropractor!” but honestly, chiropractors scare me. Oh I know, they have training,but they aren’t…y’know…MEDICAL DOCTORS. With degrees from places like Mercer or something. I like my orthopedist (plus our insurance covers him and won’t pay for chiropractors) because he’s all about doing what needs doing without fiddling around. Fiddling around irritates me.
This back thing happened with the sort of ferocity I am dealing with right now once before,about 10 years ago. Frantic visits to the orthopedist, and subsequent twice-a-week trips to a physical therapist, a miracle worker named Jill who twisted and pummelled me, then put me on a high tech medieval torture device that felt Incredible, then packed my back in warm blankets for 30 minutes afterward. I wanted to marry her except I was already married. I know that Dr. S (the orthopedist) has a physical therapy gym room type thing in his office, so I am kind of eagerly anticipating visits, and relief.
But, y’know, it’s all what you compare it to. yes, my back hurts and I have been a bit grumpy. But, I have been through much, much worse and lived to tell about it. Physical pain is bad,yes, and I don’t wish it on people. However, psychological pain is much, much worse. You can’t point to a spot and say ‘this hurts’. sometimes you can’t even put into words what’s bothering you. People say things like “cheer up! Think happy thoughts!” and that’s about as effective as slapping a Hello Kitty band-aid on a bullet wound.
So, I am dealing with the back pain and smiling through it, because I can point to a spot and say “here”.
I got an awesome new chair out of itthe cats got an awesome hew chair out of it!