Wednesday, January 30, 2008


Direct, and to the point. Cat had run out of cat food, and his cat box needed to be changed. So what does he do? SLAMS his food bowl into the cat box until I come running. Got the message accross.

I'm having fun watching Lost. I have subtitles on already, and so having a SECOND set of subtitles (updating and reminding us of everything that happened last season) is just keeping me a little bit busier than usual.

The updates are really funny - it's like having someone watching the show with you, reminding you of the background of the characters, the story line, what might be happening... it's great for someone with a terrible memory like mine.

Hey, can we figure out how to do this with EVERY show?

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

R - E - S - P - E - C - T

Straight from Webster’s: "To feel or show honor or esteem for; hold in high regard."

Or as the Supremes sing, "What you want, baby, I got, what you need, you know I got it, All I’m askin’ is for a little respect"

I mentioned to a certain someone that he obviously respected Mr. So-And-So, and it was apparent because he (the certain someone, not Mr. So-And-So) very rarely did show respect to ANYone. This actually lead to a discussion (which in previous days / months / years has been completely nonexistent with this individual (not Mr. So-And-So), because any dialogue that might/could/perhaps/perchance/wildest-stretch-of-imagination lead to criticism / distrust / unfavorable judgment / chastisement and so instead has normally unleashed an avalanche of anger / frustration / agitation instead of any sort of discussion... now can we please end this long parenthetical aside?), and an actual admission of "gee, maybe I should think about that, because if I am not showing respect, then I am limiting things I could be learning from them!"

No, the earth has stopped spinning, and as far as I know the regular laws of gravity and bread-will-usually-land-butter-side-down still exist. But I had to sit down for a minute or two after this just to catch my breath!

(Now I have another question; at the end of the song, the lyrics so "R E S P E C T, find out what it means to me, R E S P E C T, take out T C P" - wha?! RESE? What the heck does that mean?!)

Saturday, January 26, 2008


Okay, last night I wrote some silly stuff about talking to myself/animals/not the remote control (at least not yet). And this may be opening an extremely private part of my life, but one that I probably should share more often.

When you say that you have seen God, people think you are either lying or crazy. When you say that you have been talking to God, people think that you’ve just been praying. And if you hear God talking to you, you’re either insane or a prophet.

So here is the main thought (which isn’t all the earth-shattering, but it works for me):

When you are talking to yourself/the animals/the remote control, just include God. Again, sounds pretty silly, but when you include Heavenly Father, it moves you closer to Him. And it increases your chances of hearing what His Spirit is whispering to you all the time - your reception is improved.

Friday, January 25, 2008


I have done some silly things in my life (driving cross-country with a kitten, with a puppy, getting married without a prenuptial agreement), but I am NOT one of those person who locks their keys in their car, loses the mailbox key, or tries to get into and/or the wrong car (well, no, I guess I have done that - my Honda looked like a lot of other Hondas).

I probably have locked myself out of the house, but this is the first (and hopefully the only) time I have locked myself INSIDE the house.

I purchased a doorknob (see previous entry for the thrilling episode), and slowly over several days, through a painful process of elimination, got the door handle (one of those cool ones for those with limited hand use OR people who always have a large Diet Coke and three books in their hands) installed.

This afternoon I was one the FINAL rearrangement of two main components (like I said, process of elimination), when, whoops! The door slammed shut with a gust of wind - and SHUT is the true word. The bolt was in, but neither handle was, and what I thought would be a simple turn became a frantic, frustrating and FAILING effort to get OUT.

So I just hate to admit that yes, there are two other exits from our house (not including windows or the septic system, of course).

Anyway, since the dramatic tension is rapidly ebbing away (as would anything that mentions the septic system in a house), I should tell you that it DID get resolved (two screwdrivers, four hands and two very wet noses trying to help), the front door DOES open, and then handles are ON properly.

(Does this show how incredibly unexciting my life is some days?!?)

Thursday, January 24, 2008


No, REALLY, go down and read the entry of just a few minutes ago.

Yeah, I'll wait.

You did NOT - now go and DO it!!

Okay, did you read it? Honest? Cross your heart?

I now want to disavow ANY connection with the show "Are You Smarter Than A Fifth-Grader." The contestant immediately following the middle-school principal (which was the contestant I was watching) was a blond 'sorority-sister' with a short skirt half way up her akola (I don't think spellcheck has Hawaiian on it, but you know what I mean), a major push-up padded bra that left NOTHING to the imagination since her top was lower than normally worn in public, and (of course) was all BOUNCY and JIGGLY and made all these aforementioned parts just GO ALL OVER the place.

I'm certain there were male viewers who will enjoy watching this, but someone like that is an embarrassment to all of us liberated (and yes perhaps middle-and-older-aged) women! And in the name of concerned mothers everywhere, SOMEONE GO TALK TO THIS YOUNG WOMAN'S DAD!


Once again, I am being humbled. First question on "Are You Smarter Than A Fifth-Grader" was to spell 'giraffe.' And I can only do that after running spell-check!

I never went to second grade (another tale that doesn't need to be told tonight), and missed that entire phonics deal... or maybe it's just that I'm a terrible speller with or without phonics (and yes, you are correct, I couldn't spell phonics the first time through).

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


I love looking through National Geographics. Bright, startling undersea photography of urchins - touching stories of suffering in third-world countries - long, detailed histories of religious/pagan meetings - wildlife that could easily eat you for breakfast up close and personal. However (ha! bet you saw that coming, didn’t you?) ... well, this entitles an entirely new paragraph.

I am always questioning the "and it happened such-and-such." If you were actually there as an eye-witness, okay, I’ll at least listen to your story. But if it’s second/third /fourth-hand story, or a "lost account found in the Smithsonian library" (what did they do, anyway, misfile it?) or the most infamous "and obviously what happened is...."

I may be super superstitious (can you say that?) and questioning after being married for three decades to an overly cynical and negative individual. But it irritates me no end when some action/event/incident is ‘clearly’ this way or that way.

And what got me started (for today, at least) was a gruesome N.G. article "Tales From The Bog," about bodies uncovered in the wetlands (I just love that expression - it doesn’t bring to my mind marshes, but my grandson’s bed for a few nights while he was experiencing diaper independence) of Ireland, Denmark, the Netherlands and Germany.

While the article freely acknowledges numerous "theory unraveling" (i.e. reversal of the original findings), it also speculates about one victim "learning his fate a few days in advance" (because he had a three-day stubble - maybe his wife used his razor for her legs!), and "one of ‘them’ (who is ‘them’?) pulled back (the man’s) head and, with a short knife (okay, how can you TELL it’s a short knife?), slit his throat (the body, not the guy with the short knife) from ear to ear."

SO - this is what I’m gonna do. I’m going to jump in time to the, well, let’s make it an even number, 26th century (wait, then it would be years like 2516, and that’s an odd number beginning.... gosh, guess I can’t get around that, so let’s just stick with it). And since I already know this current time pretty well, I am going to be the main forensic lead on this - and this is going to be my report:

Uncovered in the area believed to be have been know in the 21st century as "Big Apple" or "Nueva York" was the body of what has been come to be know as "Chinless John." With a block of plastic with various buttons obviously fused to his hand, it has been theorized that it was a primitive computer implant, designed to control either Chinless John’s bodily functions while sitting or delivery of a crude fermented alcohol called "Budd".

John certainly died from an annual ceremonial ritual where massive amounts of formally adorned foods, to include ‘cheese puffs’ and ‘extra pepperoni’ were washed down with the ‘drink of the gods’ (named by the historian Bronzo Telly as ‘Miller’) as an offering to the "Super Bowl" gods.

I weep for our great-great-grandchildren.

Monday, January 21, 2008


I (obviously mistakenly) think of myself as a fairly normal, rational person. I know how to drive a car, can change a flat tire (although, I must admit, there have been several occasions when I have played the helpless female to get a guy to do it for me), fix (some) toilet problems, and what the difference between a Phillips & flat screwdriver (anyone know who Phillips was?).

Today I was humbled and forced to reassess that self-image.

Our front door doorknob (is that redundant?) - okay, the doorknob on our front door (yeah, that works better) has been getting looser and looser for . . . well, how many years have we lived here? Going on seven? I have backed off repeatedly trying to fix it myself, because even looking at the instructions involved with putting in a new one throws me into a down-spiraling panic. There are about seventeen-gadzillion little tiny metal pieces and volumes of instructions and odd pieces that are described only in paragraph 118 section F, etc.

But today the doorknob was hanging by only positive thinking, so I ventured into Lowe’s this morning, certain that I would only find the endless instructions in a package full of random shiny metallic parts. Admitting defeat before I even crossed the threshold, I went directly to the customer service desk, resolved to ask and PAY to have someone come OUT to my house and INSTALL the (#&$(*)_ doorknob.

Now, Lowe’s and Home Depot always seem to be advertising that "we’ll show you how, but we can install it, too!" Seems to be true about a lot of things . . . except doorknobs (and it would be incredibly expensive anyway, I realize - just to get someone to drive twenty plus miles to get out here anyway). HOWEVER, the fellow at Lowe’s (also see side-note below) who told me that they didn’t have anyone they could refer me to, ALSO walked me over to the doorknob section, took out a knob as I wanted, and then took it out of the book, took it apart, and SHOWED ME HOW TO PUT IT BACK TOGETHER on an actual DOOR.

It was amazing.

(Side-note: It was also semi-sensational that this employee at Lowe’s was hmm . . . probably late 40's, original hair, kinda rugged good looks . . . I would have followed him around for a while more if I could)

However (of course one of my stories couldn’t end without a twist at the end), when I got home, took the old knob off (yeah, I blew on it once, and it fell to the floor), and ‘manfully’ (I just love that expression; of course, you have to imagine it in a bad English slash gay accent) began to put it all together, I discovered a couple of things.

First, it’s not a really good idea to install anything on the exterior of your house on an extremely windy, COLD day in January (all right, it’s Arizona, but it still gets cold here - at least to a thin-blooded-native-Southern-Californian/Hawaiian-by-adoption - but it WAS very windy). And second, once you take OFF the original hanging-by-a-thread doorknob, guess what? YOU THEN DO NOT HAVE A WAY TO OPEN OR CLOSE THE DOOR.

And I, in a less-than-brilliant move, concluded that I must use sheer mass (as in my husband’s briefcase, three floodlights, my heaviest biking boots) to KEEP THE DOOR SHUT. And it took me MORE THAN TWENTY MINUTES before I realized - gee, we have a deadbolt on the door - I can use THAT to keep the door shut.


And the doorknob is going to have to wait until tomorrow (the door has to be shaved slightly to make it all fit together), so a kitchen towel is stuffed into the open hole and the bolt is firmly locked.

Wish me luck - the way I’ve been going, I may end up with a garage door opener in place of the lock (but then again, if I can get that same guy at Lowe's to come help me....)

Sunday, January 20, 2008


There are a couple of reasons that you become a grandparent later in life. No. 1 is that it's a reward for not killing your own children, but close behind is the simple fact that your body becomes... well, older. Less flexible, slower, and more prone to aliments. And definitely not up to handling a class of five extremely active (i.e., rolling on the floor, racing down the hallway and wrestling each other) six year-old children. Especially when you are trying to teach a vaguely religious/spiritual lesson about pre-mortal exsistence.

But at least I have an excuse for (once again) being incredibly lazy tonight and not doing much of anything than make up blog entries and talk to my mother-in-law (only a shame that I can't do both at the same time - having only one phone line does limit some things).

Friday, January 18, 2008


I am so hopelessly right-hand dominant (nay, imperious and condescending better describes the correct attitude) that my entire world folds in and collapses on itself when I am unable to use my right hand.

And it’s not even my right hand; it’s my middle finger on my right hand. No, I am not (actively) trying to flip anyone off. But it’s amazing how much you do use that finger. For example, typing an I, a K, and the , all are typed by my middle finger (also random p’s and m’s - I didn’t learn to touch-type until I was in my thirties so I still do some things completely wrong).

I do feel, however, more than just a little bit of unrighteous pride about how I got this middle-finger injury. I find myself slightly ashamed of the fact that I have a soon-to-be (next month) six-year old horse that is still (essentially) unbroken. I mean, he has had a saddle on his back, and I have ridden him in an enclosed space. But mostly he is simply an 800 lb. pet who works on climbing in my lap at times.

However, this past week I have been at least getting him out for a walk every day. Part of it to ‘expose’ him to more events that he might freak out about (it’s much easier to control a horse on the ground; worst case scenario, you can drop the lead rope and just let him freak out on his own and/or run home), and part of it is additionally exercise for me (I am bound and determine to make these 50 lbs... well, maybe 30... okay, actually probably 8 move OFF my stomach and hips - and I am probably the only woman in the United States who desperately wants to lose as much of my chest measurement as possible) (wait a minutes, what was I talking about? Oh, yes).

One of the difficulties (to put it lightly) of walking Najale (my horse’s name; an entire other story) is his non-biological Mom. We got an abused mare when Najale was just under two years old, and Sally, who had only recently been separated from her probably 10th baby, immediately latched on to him like... well, like a mom would.

So anytime Najale is taken out the gate, Sally throws an equine-equivalent of separation anxiety - she races up and down the fence, whinnies, and works up a full sweat. I have tried everything I know in horse-psychology to work around this phobia of hers, but outside of injections of sedatives, nothing seems to work.

So for this week, it has been a TWO horse walk, and until today has worked out fairly well. Sally is pretty slow, and Najale is a VERY fast walked, so I do have to slow one down and try to get Sally to trot occasionally, but it’s been working.

We do have three horses that pasture down the road a bit, so I actually was eager to introduce them all. Wednesday, we walked by, Thursday, I let them sniff and rub noses (and Sally, the senior citizen of the bunch, was the one who reared, brayed and snorted), and today.... oh, today.

I think I just relaxed my guard some (an action which is the reason I have pretty extensive arthritis in my right hand - another story for another time). Regardless, Najale was the one who decided a little show-and-dance would be nice. He honestly doesn’t scare me when he rears up on his hind legs and waves his front hooves as high as he can get them - he’s just showing off, and has been doing it for YEARS without even having come down on me. But he decided to do a little lean-to-the-left, lean-to-the-right, stand-up, sit-down, fight-fight-fight, would be appropriate, and JERKED the lead rope completely out of my hand. And I guess my middle-finger of my right hand held on the longest - I don’t think it’s broken, just strained.


That which does kill us only makes us stronger (HA!)

Thursday, January 17, 2008


Tonight I want to have Harrison Ford (I just watched "Blade Runner," the full director’s cut) to feed me chocolate pudding, warm marshmallows (it’s supposed to get down to 12º tonight, so I’m playing it safe) and Hot Tang (you ever tried it? Sounds weird but oddly is pretty great... at least when it’s cold outside).

(I would have John Krasinski from "The Office" with grapes, but I found out today he is one month YOUNGER than my oldest child (DOB 12-20-79 - really!); I feel soooo lecherous now. Harrison Ford is over ten years my senior, so...)

But this has been a SUCKY afternoon. I am convinced that on certain days, the entire earth is flooded with negative radiation; it isn’t just me having a bad day, it is everyone. Road rage, irritated technicians, long lines of particularly annoyed individuals.

And I woke up from an actually pretty good nap (one of my specialities), immediately ready to crawl into a hole, wrap a blanket over my head and keen for the rest of the day (isn’t ‘keen’ just a cool word? It sounds totally Irish, and I don’t really know why - does anyone else keen?).

A large part of this, of course, has been several hours spent having an eye examination at the same time as my second child. Now, this girl of mine has worn glasses since (seriously) she was 16 months old. She has been through BILLIONS (well, maybe not that many) of eye exams. And she STILL acts like she’s three, especially getting that air-puff-glaucoma test.

And it didn’t help that the eye doctor gave me some sample contacts to put in; and the right eye lens was SOO far off prescription that I (literally) could not walk back to the exam room. How am I supposed to trust this guy that he can get anything ELSE right?

However, I do have some samples, and I definitely can see distances better (did you know that there are mountains where I love?!). But my fantasy wish above is still dancing before my eyes - and how bad would it be to have John there ALSO?

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


It's universal. We (females types) will have someone coming over (relative, friend, insurance salesman) to our adobe (house, apartment, local sewer) so we (female types) will spring into action and straighten, dust, move, clear (and in my case HIDE) things to make the location (living room, closet, outhouse) more inviting (clean, less cluttered, official-Martha-Stewart-nightmare).

And if the invitee (relative, friend, Jehovah Witnesses) is/are/could-be-after-major-surgery MALE (man, boy, turtle), they do not notice a single thing (improvement, revival, non-toxic environment).

As my house has been labeled an environmental disaster (also a sanctuary for rabbits suffering from hang-nails and rarely-used-but-always-available hideout for mutant cabbages), any improvement is temporary at best. But it would help to have at least one sympathetic eye sweep over the area and think, "Wow. If this is an improvement, it must have been bad to being with."

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


This evening, a woman about my age (50+) was loading a toddler into one of those shopping carts with the miniature car attached to the front for youngsters to be (supposedly) entertained while being kept from being underfoot.

The little girl was being kinda fussy, so I stopped to distract her (I have no shame, and will make the most outrageous faces to get any little kid to smile - ask my oldest about photos of me getting Kate to smile).

The woman thanked me, and so I mentioned how much I liked having my grandchildren around to have a reason to use such carts (people look at you real funny if you try to crawl into the kids front seat or the child-apparatus like the car).

She said, "Oh, yes, it's fun with my grandkids, but this is my daughter." Middle-age accident, much like my parents had with ME.

I'm so glad I don't have a uterus any more.

Saturday, January 12, 2008


Okay, just be patient with me for a bit while I air out some thoughts that are beginning to gather dust in a back corner of my mind but which I am not quite ready to discard yet. And believe me, these thoughts are for ME.

In the scriptures, Jesus is quoted several times saying "Judge not, that ye be not judged." This has always filtered through the tacky, slime-covered sieves in my mind (that's a little bit too descriptive, isn't it) into "Judge i.e. put on public trial and condemn to such and such time of punishment and/or whip/flog in the public marketplace."

What if by judgement, Christ instead meant for us to be aware of forming an opinion about based on previous experiences, not necessarily reality? That is so common to us humans (I'm talking about me, baby, not necessarily you, Murray), it's almost beyond mentioning; we subconsciously form views about what we experience based on past occurrences and/or teachings. "All (put in almost anything; Republicans, homeless people, snails) are (judgement; ignorant, ill, slimy)." A badly-painted orange Datsun pickup drives by: I immediately label it "small, weak, and badly maintained." A woman waking a white toy poodle: "Snob, rich, has a pool and an old husband." A young child in a cheap umbrella stroller with snot dried on his/her face and stained clothing: "That's an (almost) neglected kid, with a lot of older siblings who aren't probably taken care of it either - that's gotta be a lower-income single mom, lives in Huachuca City."

Can you see how that could be also 'unrighteous' judgement? (Helps that all those examples are extremely NEGATIVE)

Could Christ/Heavenly Father be trying to teach us about keeping an open mind, literally NOT allowing those (for me at least) prejudiced views harden up our hearts without us (me at least) being even being AWARE of it?

Wow - wake up call for ME! And again, if this life is the opportunity to become like Christ, I am REALLY missing the boat here. When I think of someone like President Hinckley, I am so certain that he does NOT allow all these preconceived notions clutter up his view of any of the children of God he encounters here on earth. He allows everyone the chance to prove who they are/are not.

So this is either going to become a lengthy article to be submitted to the Ensign (not ever published) and Sunstone (on the 'readers comments' paged and will generate a lot of email traffic either agreeing or condemning this a Happy Valley mentality) or it now will disappear completely into that dusty old filter paper of a brain that I have and remain like old lint hanging on the clothes dryer forever.

Completely unrelated: I am just learning to LOVE the satellite music station called "Roadhouse." It has non-twangy country, great old rock, some blues - just an extremely elliptic and almost random cross-section of music. From Edgar Winter's "Frankenstein" to Daryl Worley to Three Dog Night to Roomful of Blues to the Allman Brothers - and all just cool music.

Thursday, January 10, 2008


All mothers have done that pause at the bedroom door to listen, just make certain, their child(ren) are breathing - our little own sigh of relief that yes, they are still alive, and we move on.

So listening to the snorts, gasps and sudden intakes of breath coming from my husband's bedroom this evening... no, you're right, there is NO comparison.

Monday, January 7, 2008


Lord, help me understand. On "Deal or No Deal," there’s a dude who, yeah, is an Iraqi vet, even got a Purple Heart (which I will never understand - doesn’t that mostly mean they didn’t duck fast enough?), yeah, yeah - but he has, as one of his ‘support’ people, his girlfriend (note, not his WIFE), who has already had their first baby, and was pleading with this guy to take what ended up being the best offer on the entire show.

Listen, Purple Heart dude, I KNOW, especially as a military spouse, that your sweet little girlfriend did NOT get, and WILL not get, any military benefits, support, or (God forbid), if you had NOT dodged that bullet, any life insurance!! Your ‘ fiance ’ (I absolutely hate that word - perhaps because it’s French and it has come to mean ‘girl/boy friend that you have convinced there is a better than 51% chance that someday you might actually marry them’) is standing there with tears in her eyes, begging you to take the offer ‘"because then we’ll have enough money to get married!"

(Sideline -how much money does it take to get married? Justice of peace, who you slip a $20 bill to - a church minister (free if they’ll LDS, I guarantee) - really, even if you have dreamed all your life about a huge wedding and flying all your relatives in from Wisconsin, isn’t it a little bit more practical to have the legal status before your ‘ fiance ’ goes into a war zone?!?)

And now there is a cool Hawaiian guy (from Maui) who is playing to help his mom (we're back to "Deal Or No Deal" in case you weren't following me), and is actually CRYING because he is so happy that he has SIX million dollar cases in the mix.

Okay, thanks, I needed to get that out of my system.

Onto the next bee in my bonnet (talk about using outdated expressions, man).

A certain someone (who will remain nameless in the name of marital harmony) tonight climbed (rather shakily) on his soapbox late this evening, and lectured for a full 20 minutes about one particular gospel point (which I really don’t need to get into to prove my point) and how this had been taken to great lengths in a church meeting (actually a particular group’s regular weekly gathering, which normally is the solitary lecturer, reading from a manual, accompanied by snoring - or in rare instances, such as the particular meeting that this specific someone was talking about, voices are raised, everyone argues loudly about some insignificant point of doctrine and/or scripture while not listening to anyone else and all leave the room disgruntled) ...

Okay, I need to take a breath here . . .

ANYWAY, I, bless my little self, bit my tongue, and did NOT say anything, like "listen, buddy, aren’t you old guys meeting together in church to LEARN AND BECOME MORE LIKE CHRIST, not argue about really stupid little details that have NOTHING to do with yours (or anyone else’s) eternal salvation, and are precisely pointed out in the scriptures as CONTENTION (which is NOT good)."

Of course, am I being contentious by letting all this bother me? ARGHHHHHHHHH!!

(And now I’m watching Mythbuster blow up a pig’s stomach with soda, pop rocks and/or baking soda . . . YUCK! This is a SIGN - give up television ... NOW!)

Sunday, January 6, 2008


If people can make millions from diets like Atkins & No Flour No Sugar, exercise programs such as Curves and Jazzercise, and machines that promise "only five minutes a day!" for a six-pack of abs, then I am certainly entitled to a piece of that pie with my great new idea.


Yes, that is right, metric measurements! Join everyone outside of the U.S. of A, and use measurements that are logical, consistent, and commonsensical. And (this is the main selling point here) usually SMALLER. Not as intimidating. Not as daunting. Not as discouraging. 30ºC just sounds cooler than 95 F., right? (And yes, this only works if you have never lived through a 30ºC day in northern Europe, with 99% humidity)

However, in totally reverse logic, I love the fact that in metric my HEIGHT is 175.26 (I am the shortest one in my family; and am getting shorter every year as my bones settle down.... literally).

So, join me (since the only non-plastic or metal tape measuring tape I have is metric, and metric ONLY) in using METRIC as guide. In centimeters, my waistline is MUCH more likely to change than using old inches (or, perhaps in my case, yards).

And now, after using a conversion chart to put my current waist-measurement, I am never, no, NEVER going to publicly declare what it is - metric, or otherwise! However, I now have a convenient, easy-to-remember even number (no guessing) which to move away from (hopefully, DOWN numerically).

Friday, January 4, 2008


Eww, now that same station (see below) is playing Abba and BAD Barry White - someone, please, tell me quick, that those are bad 80's, and not 70's.

All my good memories are dissolving... HELP!!!


I like the word my daughter coined - somehow it fits in with the next paragraph.

I have done something that for years I have said I could not do. I have always admired short, spikey hair,, especially on older women, but have continually said that I did not have a cute enough face to get away with it.

Well, you know what? I don't really care anymore. Right now my hair is EXTREMELY short and spikey (although my spellcheck is not accepting that word), and if I had the money, it would be violet or bright pink. I like it, and I don't really care if I have the face or not.

Part of this rebellious streak may be from listening to a 70's satellite station. Songs that remind me of high school and college, what I was doing, what I was anticipating, where I thought I was headed. And yes, it does bother just a tiny little bit that my husband has absolutely no idea that my favorite song of all time is "Just You & Me" by Chicago (which they played about 10 minutes ago). That he still doesn't really like horses even after we'd had two for four-going-on-five years. That he spends the vast majority of time at home in his bedroom watching CNN and petting his greyhound.

But really, just a tiny little bit.

See, I was going to marry a cowboy-yet-liberal-and-well-educated (can we already see that this was purely fantasy?), raise and train horses while running a stables that would be a safe haven for troubled teenager. Didn't anticipate marrying someone who ended up making the military and terrorism their life.

But right now I am okay with all this. It's a guarantee that life is what happens while you are planning for something else, and I keep relearning that the sooner you accept that, the happier you can be.

There - your fortune cookie saying for the night, to go along with your egg drop soup.

Thursday, January 3, 2008


I am a huge fan of the television show "The Office" - enough that I know more trivia from the DVDs of each and every season (and bring that fact UP often enough) that I drive fellow "The Office" fans nuts. So forgive me for the following.

Once again, I can appreciate the character Pam’s comment; "Now I remember why I dress that way I do at work."

I wore a cute top today into town. It’s a little bit snugger that I normally wear (which really isn’t saying a lot since I wear adult male XL sweatshirts a whole lot of the time), and it was a little bit lower in front, so I was wearing a camisole (is that the correct term for them nowadays? You know, little snug undershirt with a supposed exercise-bar-type support underneath... which with my bra size is sort of a joke).

But it wasn’t anything that a 52 year-old woman would like silly wearing... at least in my point of view. I think I’m pretty modest, and I’m not exceptionally proud of my 40-extra-lb-packing body, and although I glanced at the mirror a second time before I left, I thought it just looked okay.

HOWEVER... is it just coincidence that today 1) a guy I knew pretty well when I worked at Target, who steadfastly since I left has never gone out of his way to say ‘hi’ or anything, sought ME out today to ask how I was doing, 2) two men just sort of started a conversation with me, and 3) a guy speaking Spanish into his cell phone just happened to need to be in three aisles that I needed to be... and I don’t really think he was looking for toothbrushes.

I see why some women enjoy this, but it made me more than a little uncomfortable. It reminds me too much of what happened when I had jaw-surgery. I had an over-bite that could have been corrected with braces when I was growing up... but wasn’t (I think I was lucky that I got to the dentist at all when I was young!) . So when the orthodontists in the military offered to do the surgery to correct it (read that IT WAS GONNA BE FREE), I jumped at it.

I didn’t think the operation did a whole lot for to change my looks - other than keeping my teeth from being worn down unevenly - but brother, did the opposite sex suddenly begin reacting to my presence! In Mormon lingo, I had always been one of those "sweet-spirit, burning-testimony" types that usually ended up going on a mission instead of getting married - guys were friends and buddies a long time before anything romantic would spark.

But suddenly (and man, was it startling) men just seemed to be the ones that began the conversation - stood much closer to me - seemed a lot more interested in what I was saying.

And I HATED it - nothing had changed except my physical appearance by a few centimeters, and amazingly I was more engaging?

Oh, well, it at least proved (proves) the truth of one of my bumper-statements on my truck: "A woman’s looks are important because men see better than they think"


There are quite a few things that I simply don’t care about. I don’t care that my hair is shorter than most of men in American (and that is not even factoring in the rampant baldness ‘deflowering" those manly-hairy apes... I mean, men), it doesn’t matter to me a whole lot what I am wearing (although I did go to a party last night in a very classy black sweater and pants only to discover once I sat down that the pants were covered with cat hair), and although I know I look better with at least some mascara on, I have two tubes of mascara that have lasted me (literally) years (and I know the hype about supposedly replacing your mascara every six months because of possible bacteria growth - that’s a rumor put forth by the people who made makeup).

But my entire soul weeps when I read about Kenyans being burned to death in, of all the places in the world, a church. I have to slap my hand over my mouth when I see a parent berating a small child in public for being... well, a small child. A new make of car weaves in and out of 60 mph traffic, never resorting to turn signals, and screeches around the corner of an intersection as a pedestrian jumps back onto the sidewalk to avoid getting hit.

I care about my kids enormously; and my animals. But emotionally-challenged people who derive a great deal of not satisfaction but comfort from being mad/upset/sad and do not want to be rescued from those feelings - in the name of survival, I have trained myself over the years to not care about. They get angry regardless of what I do or do not, I am not responsible for their anger, I didn’t cause it, and I do not have to be a part of it.

It’s nice to be in control of my emotions.


There are quite a few things that I simply don’t care about. I don’t care that my hair is shorter than most of men in American (and that is not even factoring in the rampant baldness ‘deflowering" those manly-hairy apes... I mean, men), it doesn’t matter to me a whole lot what I am wearing (although I did go to a party last night in a very classy black sweater and pants only to discover once I sat down that the pants were covered with cat hair), and although I know I look better with at least some mascara on, I have two tubes of mascara that have lasted me (literally) years (and I know the hype about supposedly replacing your mascara every six months because of possible bacteria growth - that’s a rumor put forth by the people who made makeup).

But my entire soul weeps when I read about Kenyans being burned to death in, of all the places in the world, a church. I have to slap my hand over my mouth when I see a parent berating a small child in public for being... well, a small child. A new make of car weaves in and out of 60 mph traffic, never resorting to turn signals, and screeches around the corner of an intersection as a pedestrian jumps back onto the sidewalk to avoid getting hit.

I care about my kids enormously; and my animals. But emotionally-challenged people who derive a great deal of not satisfaction but comfort from being mad/upset/sad and do not want to be rescued from those feelings - in the name of survival, I have trained myself over the years to not care about. They get angry regardless of what I do or do not, I am not responsible for their anger, I didn’t cause it, and I do not have to be a part of it.

It’s nice to be in control of my emotions.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


Today was planned; not within minutes, but loosely, for hours, I knew where I was going to be, and what I was going to be doing. It was a comfortable feeling, and printed out nicely on my personalized Day-Timer pages. I felt competent, organized, and ready for action.

Then the day began.

First of all, I must let you know what I truly am. At my heart of hearts, my innermost soul, my spiritual identity - I am a sleeper. That is, a person who sleeps - and does that one action exceedingly well. In fact, probably better than almost anything else I do. I don’t necessarily dream well, I know I occasionally snore (just a little), and I have a reputation of talking in my sleep - even praying aloud in my sleep. But boy, can I sleep.

So almost any opportunity that presents itself, I will crawl under the covers and drift right off. And after getting up at the crack of dawn (literally), feeding the horses and feeling the cold sneak under my sweatshirt, into my shoes - hot oatmeal and a cup of hot chocolate (with three LARGE marshmallows) warms me up . . . and also makes me sleepy.

Guess what happened then? Right; I went back to bed.

So I had really just drifting off, in a nice, warm bed with a cat curled up against the back of my leg . . . someone drives up, and my two highly-sensitive burglar-alarms (the dogs) went off.

At least I had not changed into my pajamas.

It was my own favorite Jehovah Witnesses, who have been coming every week or so to chat, share stories, and listen to me talk about my testimony. A very cute older couple who just keep coming back. And we talked for almost two hours - and by then, it was too late to go back to sleep.

So I did my running around in town, hitting Target so my in-town daughter could blow her Christmas cash, and waiting for her low-income eligibility appointment to be done. Got home in record time, convinced I could get in a quick nap before my hubby came home, and we would have to leave for a social-evening at a friend’s.

And once again, just drifting off . . . dogs get into a tussle. Wake me up. Completely. And that was it for the night.

So . . . it’s 11:00 p.m. at night, and why am I awake writing about my stolen sleep instead of sleeping?!?!?


I am back working on my life history, which sounds so dramatic, but in reality is me just chatting in Tahoma font size 12 about extremely unselective memories over 52 years of life. Names may not be complete, dates may be off by a.... decade or two, but it’s fun to reminisce about events in my life ("events" being translated as not the year I was born, where I have lived and gone to school, but important stuff like discovering the perfect chocolate-chip cookie recipe (well, inventing it, really), the first day my first child got on a bus by herself going to kindergarten, and the death of a cat).

It helps that I know my oldest child will read these recollections, and probably no one else for quite a while. They’ll be stored in a box, which with a military life will travel a few far-flung places. Her kids will ask her sometime about what’s in the box - maybe use it for a history class ("These are things my grandma did in the 1970's - without a personal computer"). Throughout more moves, it should be condensed a couple of times ("Great-Grandma Hope must have been tired when she wrote that one"), and finally whittled down to one shining entry that reflects her folksy wisdom and the economic, political and environmental whirlwinds affecting her life (HA!).

Besides, I need to get this done before my brain injury and rapidly-approaching senior dementia latch on, and I begin forgetting everything or elaborately ‘enlarge’ these stories in the manner of my mother until the stories all involve name-personalities, saving the world, and putting myself center stage in everything.

So... to work I GO!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008


My daughter came up with the wonderful idea of supporting each other's 'healthy choices' via the Internet. She wants to learn to 'eat better' before her upcoming move (and if 12 lbs. happen to disappear in the process, so be it), and I want to lose weight (and if I happen to learn to eat better in the process, so be it).

Honestly, most of it for me is that I simply FEEL so much better when I weight less. I know that translates into moving both BEFORE losing any weight, and moving more after I lose some "excess" because I FEEL better. At my age, that moving more will probably only be walking (my knees decided a few years ago that running was no longer an option), but I have a dog and a horse that both LOVE getting out, so I have some support here also.

I think that having to report to someone will help me - and hopefully my daughter won't cost as much as a personal trainer ;-)


My first horse was raised in Los Angeles. When I purchased him in 1971, he was well acquainted with asphalt, eighteen-wheelers, and freeway on-ramps (we really don't need to go down that road any further, no pun intended), so when I took him with me to college, it was a new experience for both of us. I had never gone for a run in clean air (I grew up thinking your lungs were supposed to hurt when you exercised; much like your legs got sore, etc.), seen tractors on public streets, gone to an ACTUAL drive-in movie (my room-mate and I were poor enough that we used to go sit outside and just watch without having any sound), and watched fruit GROWING on trees (I though they just appeared magically in the produce aisle at Ralph's).

And Sherman (my horse, whose real name was Jedidiah Isosceles Extravaganza , Jr., shortened to Sherman for everyday) had never seen a cow. So the first time I took him riding, we came upon a pasture with a, guess what, COW in it. Sherman stopped short, stared hard, and was prepared to walk on and accept this vision as an extremely odd looking horse, when the cow MOOED. Sherman freaked, and took off at his fastest pace in the opposite direction.

(He also had a unique attitude towards the first river he saw. Horses are usually very suspicious of bodies of water -the common theory at least at that time was that they could not see beneath the surface. Sherman, however, got to the edge of the river, sniffed at the water, and promptly THREW himself into the river, with me and saddle being dragged behind, and would swim at any opportunity offered)

So today our greyhound saw her first cow - and I guess the cow saw her first greyhound. My husband described it as mutual astonishment, and then some sort of inter-species dance, comprised of wild capers, leaps and bounds and ended with both of them running off in opposite directions.

I think any future dating is out of the question.