Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Grocery Stores

Going to the grocery store is always an adventure. I already touched on the subject in my blog "Shopping Together is NOT a Good Idea", but this is more specific to grocery stores. It is ALWAYS better to shop without family members, unless you're prepared to take out a second mortgage on your house. You end up at the checkout, and for a moment, you think you might have the wrong cart, because there's stuff in there you don't recognize. A lot of it. The males in my family are very resourceful. They know how to strategically place items, so they're not seen until the moment the cashier scans them.

While we're on the subject of checking out, that brings to mind one of my other pet peeves. I DO NOT LIKE IT when the cashier comments on your purchases. Why would they even GO THERE? They don't have any clue who I am, and/or what I might be planning.
"Oh, I see you have a liter of vodka, roses, stationary, filled prescriptions for sleeping pills & tranquilizers, and straight razors. Looks like SOMEBODY is having a romantic evening!"

I have a secret wish. I would like to work in the dairy section of a grocery store. In the back. Behind the milk, etc. Wouldn't it be fun to mess with the customers. Hold on to items from behind, so they can't pull it off the shelf? Speak in a low, ominous voice, and say "Do you think that's the best idea?" or "Remember your cholesterol", or "What would Dr. Oz say?". Additionally, I could be a perky, helpful, disembodied voice; "Light sour cream is a good choice; less calories, virtually no difference in taste" or "Don't waste your money. Fat free cream cheese is hideous, unless you enjoy eating caulking, chalk, or Mylanta". Or, I could offer hints about the customer's appearance. "Was that really the best choice to wear in public?", or "Undergarments would help that top hang a little better" or "Do you "OWN a mirror?". You know, just being helpful, that's all.

I'm not good around the displays in grocery stores. Especially in the produce section. Who's idea was it to construct these Jenga-inspired towers of fruits and vegetables? More than once, I have attempted to extricate a potato, or (insert ANY item of your choosing, except cantaloupe. I hate cantaloupe), only to have 127 OTHER items topple off the display. And, they don't just fall off.....they fall off and ROLL, so you can't even make a quick getaway, cuz the cart can't get through the minefield of root vegetables you just created. It's not like I'm grabbing at the stack willy nilly. I put some thought into which tater to grab for, and it's ALWAYS WRONG.

It's not just produce, either. Once, during the holidays, there was an elaborate candle display, directly across from the in-store pharmacy, (where there is a perpetual line of disgruntled patients, or WITNESSES, as I like to call them), and I (carefully) chose a lovely candle for our mantle. Okay. They were rectangular in shape, so they seemed stable. They were not. Stable. The entire display came crashing down. It should be noted that my husband and son were with me when this occured. They WERE with me. When I looked up, hoping to see the reassuring, supportive faces of my loved ones, they had fled the scene. Honestly, I don't remember what happened after that. I think my mind repressed it, in an effort to protect me.

Last, but not least, I was shopping for supplies to do some baking. Baking is something that my family loves for me to do. Actually, there seems to be a direct correlation between me, in the kitchen, and the amount of love and affection I inspire. My husband is never more loving than when I'm cooking or baking. AND, if I have an apron on? The look on his face is reminiscent of our early dating days.....he REALLY, REALLY likes me when I have an apron on. I digress. Back to the baking supplies. I needed butterscotch chips for my oft-requested Oatmeal Scotchies. I found the chips. They were piled high, at the end of an aisle ("BIG HOLIDAY PROMOTION"!!). Do I even need to say it? You know what happened. However, what made this particularly awkward, was the fact that those little bags of chips are quite slippery. They DO NOT stack. I tried. They just kept sliding off. I have NO idea how they were stacked there, in the first place. I finally gave up, and threw all of them in my cart. We had to clean out two shelves of our pantry to house those dumb chips. Of course, my husband was ecstatic, cuz he thought I was actually going to make that many cookies. (He's still waiting).

I am weak in grocery stores. I have no self control or willpower. I am a sucker for "NEW!!" items. I AM a marketing dream come true. I buy things at eye level. I buy things at the ends of aisles. Even knowing that I am being duped, I cannot help myself. I KNOW that "Cookies & Cream", "Ice Cream Sandwich", "Chocolate Sundae", and "Oreo" flavors are EXACTLY THE SAME, but they slap a new name on it, and in my cart it goes! And cereals!!! I once had heart palpitations over a new creation "Rice Krispie Treat" cereal. And "Reese's" cereal? Forget about it! In the cart it goes!

Lest you think that I am totally without hope, or good nutrition, let me clarify that these are not everyday purchases. Normally, we mostly eat fresh fruits & vegetables, fish, lean know, all the stuff on the "perimeter of the store", where you're supposed to buy the "good for you" stuff. Once in a while, though, I venture into the forbidden center aisles, and that's where the nutritional good intentions go out the window. Really. It's maybe, every third shopping trip, when something "bad" gets into the cart, or when there's anything "NEW!", which only time.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Today is my younger son's 11th birthday. As all parents say, I can hardly believe how quickly the time has passed. Anyhoo, that's what inspired today's blog.

I had my first son, Alex, when I was 26 years old. Pregnancy was easy (the birth, not so much), and recovery to my pre-pregnancy body was relatively easy. I used Jane Fonda's nazi boot camp videos (I don't think they were actually called that, but they should have been), and was back to "normal" in a couple months.

Fast forward 14 years, and I'm giving birth to my second son, Sam. NOT so easy. None of it. Including the "getting pregnant" part. Let me explain. I was older. Older than 26. By 14 years. (Don't make me say it, just do the math). But,I REALLY wanted to have a baby with Scott. I just really liked him, and it seemed like a good idea. He took some convincing, cuz his point was that our other kids were just about grown, and we could be "free". Alex wasn't crazy about the idea either.....he kinda liked being the only kid there. Well, as so often happens, I wore them both down, and ended up getting pregnant. By the way, this was "pre-privacy law" days, and the word had traveled throughout the hospital (where I work) that I was pregnant, before I even got back from the lab!

Sadly, though, we miscarried. When Alex found out, he felt bad. He knew I was sad, so in an effort to cheer me up, he told me, excitedly, one day, when I picked him up from school, "Mom! We're learning about the reproductive system, and the teacher said that women can get pregnant between the 12th and 15th day of their cycle,and today is March 14th, so you should try again! I'll go to bed early, and I'll turn my music on really loud, so you and Scott will have privacy". Apparently, his understanding was that ALL women, across the earth, are fertile on the exact same days.

At that point, I WAS ready to just stop trying. Everyone tells you "don't be obsessed", but how can you NOT be obsessed, when you have to take your temperature before you even get out of bed? Plus, I was having all these thoughts about how Scott's little reproductive guys were like little muscular dudes in Speedos, and my eggs were shriveled up little raisins, and the Speedo dudes were looking at each other, like "What? He wants us to what? Really?"

Scott said "I don't think that particular visual imagery is helping the situation".

Plus, talk about a buzzkill. If I took my temperature, and realized it was "time", I'd inform Scott that his services would be required, and it got to the point, where he acted like he was working a chain gang. Seriously, getting pregnant is hard work.

Well, I had all but given up hope, and BOOM, got pregnant (I know, I know, it's a cliche). It was Christmas Eve 1998, and we were just hangin out until time to go to church. Scott was playing his guitar, and for some reason, I felt compelled to take a pregnancy test. Okay. Truth. I had just read a Christmas newsletter, and someone that I dislike, had gushed on and on about "expecting". It ticked me off.....I was having thoughts like "Hey. How come this loser person can have a baby, and I can't?"(I'm paraphrasing). Soooo, that's what prompted the 'ol dipstick test.

Lo and behold, it came up POSITIVE! I ran out to grab Scott, screaming and dragging him into the bathroom. The look on his face was priceless, cuz he couldn't imagine what I was taking him to see!

So, naturally, we were a little nervous for the first three months, but everything went well. You know those women that get pregnant, and it's just like a little basketball in front of them? If you're not looking at them from the front, you don't even know they're pregnant? I HATE those women. I fell into the category of pregnancy-shows-in-the-rear first. On the plus side, one of my favorite parts of being pregnant, was not having to suck in the belly. You just let it all hang out, baby!

The day of delivery approached, and we were getting pretty excited. Unfortunately, my Dr. was planning to be out of town, so he decided to put me in the hospital and **WARNING: DISTASTEFUL PHRASE AHEAD** give me some medicine, and see if my "cervix was ripe" (I DID warn you).
Scott and I were psyched! We planned on an evening of fun and frivolity, hangin out in the beautiful birthing suite.....just as soon as those OTHER breeders vacated the premises. At last, we were moved into the luxury accomodations, but I wasn't feeling too good at that point. Having lots of back pain. Turned out, that was labor, and long story short, Sam was delivered that night via emergency C-Section. I didn't get to be awake for his birth, and when I did come to, they brought this little blond-haired baby to me, and I turned to Scott and said, "Are you positive this is the baby they took out of me?" (he was)

So, we had our little bundle of joy. He HAS been a joy. Oh sure, there's times when it would be nice to be free from the responsibility of a kid still at home, and Scott never misses the opportunity to say "you just HAD to have that kid, didn't you?". But on the other hand, sometimes, I say "You know, Sam, Daddy didn't want you", just so he knows that I love him THE most. JUST KIDDING. I would NEVER say that. Geez!

Well, now the reproductive ship has sailed, so we're just gonna enjoy this last kid til he moves on. Sam is aware, however, that having older parents means that he needs to make a REALLY good living, so he can buy us matching Rascal scooters for when we can no longer ambulate. I also requested that mine have more power than Scott's and I'll probably get that, because, after all, having Sam was my idea to begin with!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

2 Year Olds Don't Travel Well

Awww, isn't he cute? Okay, so I just found this picture on my hard drive, and it took me right back to this trip. In September, 2001, we embarked on an ambitious road trip to visit family in Oregon and Washington. It seemed like a good idea, when we were planning it, but the reality of it was much different. I must digress for a moment, from the two year old, and say a word about the 37 year old male that traveled with us. We'll call him "Scott" (okay, okay, Scott is my husband and father to the 2 year old).

We'd planned this trip for weeks, nay, months, and are about to leave. We had it mapped out perfectly......just the right amount of time in the vehicle, interspersed with overnights in our timeshare condo, so suffice it to say, that we're on a SCHEDULE. Here's the scene: 2 year old (Sam) is strapped into his car seat, the portable VHS video player is wedged between the two front seats to provide entertainment to said 2 year old, wife (me) is wedged into her seat, and we're waiting. And, waiting. And, waiting. This might be a good time to mention that we wait for Scott A LOT (that's another story. It occurs to me that I have an endless supply of blogging material).

ANYHOO, finally I am forced to exit the vehicle and seek out my husband so we can BLOW THIS JOINT, and what is he doing? Frantically searching for his wallet. Again. He "thinks" he left it at work, so we drive to town, search his place of business, and do not find it. He keeps saying, "Let's just GO", but as I sweetly remind him, "YOU HAVE A CREDIT CARD IN THERE, AND WE NEED IT FOR OUR TRIP". Yes, I have the same credit card, but if we don't know where his wallet is, couldn't it be A) innocently sitting in a dark crevice or B)in the sweaty hands of a thief, filling gas tanks and buying electronics. If we can't find it, we need to cancel it!

I bet you know where this is going......we never found it, so had to call and cancel. Luckily, I still had a separate credit card, in my name, alone (WHAT? It was left over from pre-marriage. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it).

Back to the road trip. The toddler was hanging in there, at this point. We made it to Klamath Falls, Oregon, and spent the night, then left the next day for Bend, Oregon. That leg of the trip also went okaaaay, if you don't mind hearing the Tellytubbies say "Uh Oh", 8,000 times (the videos, remember? I know the Tellytubbies were weirdos, but if your kid likes 'em, you're watching 'em)

So, this is where the story gets serious, for just a moment. We were in Bend on Sept. 11, 2001. We woke up to the TV showing those horrific images in NYC, and I remember feeling like I just wanted to go home. It was so scary. Plus, we were heading to the Seattle area, which at that time, was being considered a "target". It's probably a blessing that we had to drive, because we didn't sit in front of a TV all day, seeing all that chaos and mayhem. We DID listen on the radio, but that wasn't as traumatic. Okay, serious part over.

What happened after 9/11? Remember? The country pulled together, and in a show of our united patriotism, everyone was displaying the flag. EVERYONE. EVERYWHERE. Why does this matter? Because Sam was captivated by the flags. He kept saying "Whassat? Whassat?", and you HAD to answer or he wouldn't stop. Wee little problem, though. He couldn't say "FLAG", it came out, "F**k". Yep, THAT four letter word, and amazingly, not only was his pronunciation dead on, he apparently enjoyed saying the word. So, say it, he did. OVER AND OVER. Oh, hello, nice elderly lady, sporting your flag sweater. Yes, this is our sweet child. Say "hi", sweet child. I don't have to spell it out, do I? He didn't say "hi". He pointed to her sweater, and said (you know).

Aside from his potty mouth, I have to say, he did pretty well, for quite awhile, on this marathon road trip, but then he started to lose his little toddler mind. At one point, he just started yelling. Not crying. Just yelling. So, I also yelled. That is when Scott looked over at me, like, "really?", but I kept on. Sam actually stopped, and he also looked at me, like, "really?", but, hey, it worked.

Then, there was the stretch of endless highway, where, out of sheer boredom, Sam began removing his clothing. No small feat, when you're strapped within in an inch of your life, in a car seat! He didn't JUST remove, though. As articles of clothing came off, he hurled them into the front seat, which I took to be an expression of displeasure (I'm quick like that). Luckily, his little chubby fingers couldn't get his Huggies undone, or this story could've taken a really ugly turn.

Kids are smart, too. They figure out pretty quickly, when the normal discipline regime has been abandoned by the parental units. You know how it're around other people, and you don't feel it's appropriate to scream, yank, or threaten their lives in front of witnes....I mean, strangers. So, Sam took full advantage, and became a mad man in the condo, in restaurants, at Great Grandpa's dinner table. At 2, he had perfected the ability to not look at me, therefore missing the steady GLARE directed at him. The one that says "I can't get at you right now, but believe me you, buddy, you're in for a world of hurt, when we get home."

When I look back, I am amazed that we even DID that trip. I don't recognize those people, who thought it would be "fun" to drive a toddler over three states. But, we made it home, in one piece. Sam is still with us, and other than the fact that he couldn't say "flag" correctly for THREE SOLID MONTHS, we completely recovered from our ordeal. Oh, by the way? To the Veterans who put on a pancake breakfast, with a large FLAG, prominently displayed? Sorry about that.

P.S. I just realized that I didn't finish the storyline of the lost wallet! Guess what? All along, it was in the toe of one of Scott's GIANT shoes. He had stuck it in there, as he carried stuff in the house, from his truck. Isn't that too funny? (not) He found it a couple days AFTER we got home, and to his credit, admitted it to me. I don't know why we're still married. I really don't.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Men & Women Were Not Meant to Share Beds

I don't believe that men and women are meant to share beds. Seriously, Ricky & Lucy had it right, although, I would take it a step further, and put those twin beds in separate rooms.

Ladies, if your husband doesn't snore, then count your blessings. I don't care if he's a cover-stealer, or a bed hog, there ain't nothin worse than a snorer. I'm not talking a little "light" snore.I'm talking a shake-your-bed, the-kids-can-hear-it-downstairs snore. In case you haven't guessed, I am married to such an individual. We'll call him "Scott".

On a couple of occasions, I was tempted to video tape him, so that all those females that think he's "so cute", could see what he looks like with his mouth all slack, and a line of spittle running down his chin.

And it's not just me that thinks he's over the top. I remember him going to a mens' camp with our church, and after that, the pastor told me that he had a "whole new respect" for me. Actually, from that point on, Scott was banned from their cabin. ACTUALLY, from that point on, they STOPPED having mens' camp altogether, but I'm sure that was just a coincidence.

Snoring isn't the only problem, though. "Scott" has no respect for pillows. I LOVE my pillows. They mean the world to me. I live by the motto "no pillow left behind". My husband (once) actually tossed some pillows ON THE FLOOR. You know what? I don't care if you can't get to the mattress for the pillows. The pillows have feelings, too! I have a system. Two pillows under the head, one pillow clutched to my abdomen, and one pillow ON my head (see "snoring" above).

The clutching pillow is something I learned after having abdominal helps protect a fresh incision from, you know, splitting apart, etc. Now, it's just a security thing. I feel so protected. What do I have to protect myself from? I'm glad you asked....

Kicking, flailing, and other bed shenanigans. My husband works out, as in lifts weights. He has strong arms. Said arms do not feel good when they connect with my person. Nor do his giant feet. If he could rebut this (which he cannot, heehee), he would say that I AM the flailer, but methinks he's projecting.

Something else I don't get. How is it that he can get into bed, turn off the light, and FALL ASLEEP. Like, right away. That is soooo annoying! Especially, if we've been having a figh...., I mean "discussion", and he just drifts off to sleep without a care in the world, while I lay there seething, and plotting his death.

AND, of course, it goes without saying, that he NEVER heard our baby when he cried. Oh no, he slept straight through night terrors, projectile vomiting, and explosive diaper changes. He sleeps like a dead thing. I could be assaulted in the bed next to him, and he would never know it, until he woke up, and saw the chalk outline where my body WAS.

I'm assuming that on the few occasions when I WASN'T there, that he DID respond to our child, but that assumption is based solely on the fact that I never heard from CPS. It will probably come out in the counseling that our son will have in the future (some parents save for college, we're saving for counseling).

Lastly, what is the deal with making the bed? It is not hard. Really, it isn't. I make most of the bed before I ever get out (I will be happy to describe this technique, should anyone be interested), but that cannot be done unless there's no one else IN the bed. Since I have to get up at the unholy hour of 4am, Scott is always still in bed, therefore, it should fall to HIM, to make the bed, RIGHT? He does, sometimes, go on a "run" of bedmaking....sometimes lasting up to a week. I really love him during that week. I should say, I love him up until the moment he climbs back into bed and falls asleep, and starts........well, you know.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Road Trips

I grew up with a very distorted view of traveling via the automobile. My father was in the Air Force, and we moved many times over the years, usually, it seemed, across these United States.

My father had a singular purpose, and that was to make the trip in "record time". I know, I know, there are others who aspire to getting where they're going, as quickly as possible, but my Dad? He was a nut about it. One of his techniques for minimizing time lost when switching drivers, involved a tricky, death defying stunt, where my mother would scootch over as close as possible, on the bench seat, to my driving Dad, then he would start to slide towards the passenger seat. At this point, Mom would either be hovering over my Dad's lap, or may even, briefly, be sitting on his lap. Frequently, at this point, my mother would get the giggles, and could barely complete the maneuver. But, she ultimately would make it into the driver's seat, thereby achieving a change in drivers, WITHOUT STOPPING THE CAR. You must imagine two small girls in the back seat, eyes as big as dinner plates, watching this, and wondering if we were going to die in a fiery crash.

It probably goes without saying, that a stop for any bodily function, was out of the question. We had to limit our food and fluid intake for a couple days before the road trip, and then would only be given some form of nutrition if we started hallucinating.

I have, literally, been across the U.S., probably 6 - 9 times, but have no memory of any landmarks. As an adult, I got into an argument with my Dad, about whether or not, I had seen Hoover Dam. Turns out, my idea of "seeing it", and his idea......vastly different. The fact of the matter is, that we passed Hoover Dam at about 2:00 a.m., and Dad hollered (ala Chevy Chase in "Vacation"), "there's Hoover Dam, kids!". I don't even think I lifted my head off of the back seat, but, rather, glimpsed a freeway sign that said "Hoover Dam Exit".

Yep, those were the good old seat belts necessary, thank you very much! Dad put some plywood over the back seat, thereby creating the equivalent of a full size mattress, and threw in pillows and blankets, so the kids could travel in comfort. Never mind, that the hasty application of brakes and/or or gas pedal sent us flying. What's a little bump on the head? Shake it off!

The really bad news about road trips, for me, was that I got extremely car sick. Seriously, even now, I can get car sick going down my driveway. A particularly bad experience involved my parents, my sister, and my three step brothers, all crammed into a full size sedan, careening up a mountain road on our way to go camping. Finally, I could hold it no longer, and begged for an "emergency stop". As we tumbled out of the car, I proceeded to hurl everything I had eaten for the two weeks prior, and THEN, all my siblings followed suit (apparently, vomiting is contagious).

As an adult, I find that I have inherited my father's tendency toward getting places, as quickly as possible, preferably via a little known shortcut. My Mom says that Dad and I are the only people she knows that come back from a trip to the airport, with weeds and burrs, sticking out from the wheel wells.

When I was about 30 years old, my Dad and I were driving together to Wyoming, and I was on a quest to make record time. He started seeing signs for "Fort Bridger", and started talking about how much he'd like to see it, how much historical significance it has, and how he probably won't have this "opportunity again". Are you kidding me? This is the same man who bypassed any and all historical landmarks, eating establishments, and rest stops, in his all consuming goal of beating his previous time! I pressed on, pretending not to hear, and eventually we approached the cutoff to Fort Bridger. Without slowing an iota, I called out "there's Fort Bridger, Dad!"

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Shopping Together is Not a Good Idea

My husband and I cannot shop together. It always ends in tears and yelling, and that's just HIM. I finally got him to admit that he actually DOES like to shop. I do not. That is, to say, I don't like to walk around stores, endlessly, hemming and hawing, and weighing pros and cons, etc. I know what I want. I go in and get it. Scott likes to "think about it". He likes to peruse. He likes to compare. He likes to go to another store, see what they've got, then go BACK to the first store, before he can make up his mind.

Once, while he was shopping for suits, I almost hung myself with some silk ties I knotted together, but didn't, because I figured they'd make us pay for them. My friend, Robin, says that "Scott is a turtle, and you're a hare", and it's never more evident than when we're shopping.

In Costco once, we decided that we could each pick out one item for ourselves, as a little treat. We had a lot of shopping to do that day, and realized that we needed a second cart. Our son was still in a stroller, so Scott had put a few items on said stroller, and transferred those items to the second cart (or so I thought). We get done with this marathon shopping, and we're at the front of the store with two carts, and he announces that he is now ready to "look for his treat". What? You weren't looking as we were traversing the entire warehouse? I bit my tongue, and said, nicely "FINE. I'll be right here waiting, Darling".

Fifteen minutes pass. Then twenty minutes. I'm getting annoyed. I try to call him on his cell phone, but no answer. As I'm scanning the store, I see him, with the stroller, going up and down aisles, and it looks like he's looking for me. Why would he be looking for me? I was standing at the front of the store, with two carts. Where am I gonna go? PLUS, I've told him numerous times.......if we get separated in a store, head for the checkout. It's the equivalent of "hugging a tree", if you get lost in the woods.

Anyhoo, he's not coming, so I decide to go ahead and start checking out. I get completely through the checkout, and am standing, waiting....... and there he is! Hi Scott! Um, where have you been? He's annoyed, because I've already checked out, and he has his "treat",(that's yet to be paid for), oh, and by the way, he did NOT move all the items from the stroller to the cart, so there's quite a few items that have not been checked out. He gets all huffy with me, and rather dramatically, says "never mind" on his treat, and starts to exit the store. So, we have a stroller, and two carts, and we're seriously irritated at one another. We wrestle with everything all the way to the car, bickering the entire way, then I just start hurling items from the cart into the vehicle, which makes him madder, so he tells me to "just get into the car".

I get Sam into his car seat, and give him a sippy cup of juice, and we enjoy a few minutes of peace and quiet (well, except for my murmuring and grumbling) until Scott gets into the car. We both start telling the other what they did wrong, and all of a sudden, Sam flings his sippy cup from the back seat, and it beans Scott right in the back of his head. Hard. (It was really loud!). He drops his head, and perhaps loses consciousness for a moment, then starts moaning. Well, God forgive me, I completely lost it, and could not stop laughing. With the noise it made, and Scott's reaction, I felt like I could literally see the stars swirling around his head.

It was a long, quiet ride home.

Monday, June 14, 2010


I have had a long, torturous relationship with THE SCALE. There's been a few (and by few, I mean, like, two) happy moments on THE SCALE, but mostly just mayhem and destruction. I can be feeling really slim.... really good.....smiling, even, but then.......THE SCALE reflects something horrifying, and it plunges me into despair.

Realizing my fixation with THE SCALE is not healthy, I even tried having my husband hide it from me, but then I proceeded to search my house, with all the fervor of a CSI team member, and then hid it from HIM, so he wouldn't know I found it.

What's even weirder is, the WAY I weigh. Our bathroom has a tile floor, and with slight adjustments, the scale will render slight variations in the number displayed. No lie, I have moved and weighed, no less than 15 times, trying to get the number that is least likely to make me hang myself. Additionally, I have found that when I step on the scale with my left foot FIRST, the number is lower. I know that seems crazy, but it's true. I'm not even going to get into all the techniques of weighing with one hand on the wall to "steady" myself, or standing on one leg, sucking in, or blowing out all my air, or any number of other strategies employed over the years.

Having said all of that, it makes it even more confounding what I did when I joined Weight Watchers with my mother. I had never done WW, and was not accustomed to the whole weighing in "semi-publicly" bit. One morning, I woke up really early, so had a bowl of cereal, did a few chores around the house, then went to pick up my mom to go to our Saturday morning meeting. On the trip in, I mentioned the fact that I had eaten something, to which my mom said, sweetly "WHAT??! ARE YOU CRAZY??!!! YOU DON'T EAT BEFORE YOU GET WEIGHED! YOU DON'T EVEN PUT LOTION ON!!! HAVE I TAUGHT YOU NOTHING?!" Wow. Wonder where I got my weight issues from?

Re: Weight Watchers. It was okaaaay. I just wasn't crazy about getting up early on my day off, and I resented the perkiness and condescending manner of the leader. I started just doing the weighing thing, then muttering something about an "emergency",can't stay for the meeting", but after the 5th time, they started to catch on. I couldn't take the guilt anymore, so I quit going.

One other thing about WW meetings. Okay, mine was in a strip mall, with WEIGHT WATCHERS on a huge, lit sign, AND there were no window coverings of any kind, so there we all were, perched (precariously, in some cases) on our folding chairs, for all the world to see! Plus, we had to walk in there! I'd rather someone think I was going to the liquor store (at 7:30 in the morning) and/or the cigarette store, than think I was going in to Weight Watchers! Why?! I'm weird! We've established that!

On that day, after the meeting, Mom and I were sitting in her car, deciding where to go eat (you know, since the weighing was over for another week!), and this guy pulls up next to us in an out of town construction vehicle. Our window was down, and he says "Excuse me, ladies. Do you know where the Wells Fargo Bank is in this town?" We told him, then he says "Thanks. Good luck at Weight Watchers!".

I was incensed! Fuming mad! How dare he think that we were there for Weight Watchers! Maybe we were going to the liquor store, or the dollar store, or the grocery outlet, but NO, he ASSUMED that we were going to Weight Watchers! Stupid, stupid, pig man! I mean, we could stand to lose a few pounds, but we weren't, like, bed-dwellers! THE NERVE! My mom interrupted my tirade, pointing, wordlessly, at my chest. There on my shirt, was my "Hi, My Name is Cherie", with "WEIGHT WATCHERS" in huge letters above it. Oh. Never mind.

I'm back to weighing in at home. Yes, it adds an extra 30 minutes to my morning routine, but it's worth it.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

I picked the wrong career

If I worked for the state, or was in law enforcement, or firefighter, I could be retired now......that really ticks me off. Of course, those things never entered my head when I was in my 20's. Retirement? That's for OLD people!

So, here I am, at an age, I don't even like to THINK out loud (starts with a 5, ends with a 1), and I'm still working 40 hours per week, getting up at 4-freaking a.m. It sucks. I have to go to bed, like, right after dinner. If I was a morning news anchor, I might have to get up a teensy bit earlier, but I would essentially be doing what I do now; acting like I care. At least, I would get to wear nice clothes.

Okay, I'm not really serious when I say I don't care. I kinda care, and it might surprise you to know, that I'm actually pretty nice to my patients. The "nice" goes away, if the patient is a butthead, however. I'm not one of those "Let the patient treat you like crap, cuz they don't feel good" kind of people. My favorite is the patient who gets irritated at ME, because I'm waking them up to do a test that THEIR DOCTOR ordered. It's not like I got up this morning, and said to myself "Hmmm, who can I torture today" (well, I DO sometimes do that, but the answer is always "my husband") PLUS! HELLO?! You're the one who came to the hospital, for, presumably, a REASON.

By the way, on the subject of patients, and hospitals. For those that are not familiar with hospitals.....the telephones in the patient's rooms are actually right next to the bed on a bedside table. Soooo, if you are calling someone who is a patient, and they don't answer within, oh, about EIGHTEEN RINGS!, then they are either not in the room, or some other VERY GOOD reason why their phone is not being answered (like, perhaps,they are undergoing a bedside ultrasound examination that requires concentration and difficult positioning, and does not allow for the patient OR THE SONOGRAPHER to answer the phone). I fantasize about snatching up the phone on ring 19, and saying "REALLY?" But I don't, because a) it would require moving, and b) I might get fired.

Well, I guess that's enough for now. Trust me, there is plenty of material generated by my job.....we WILL re-visit this.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

It Should Be Harder to Get a Driver's License

Imagine you are on one of those roads that reminds you of the pictures we've all seen, where it seems to go on forever, finally disappearing over some far away hill. Now imagine you're driving on that road...all alone. No cars in front of you. No cars behind you.

As you're hurtling along at 65+ mph, you see a car way up ahead, that seems to be waiting to turn on said highway. You see them, but you're still very far away, and you expect the car to pull out. It does not. Rather, it sits there, expectantly, obediently, as if yielding to your obvious superior driving skills, waiting its' turn like a well-behaved child.

You draw nearer, realizing they are not going to pullout, and you relax into the driving groove you've got going. Maybe you're even smiling a little, at the small victory that is yours. They are, after all, waiting for you to pass, and you will be ahead of them.

Then..... it happens. You are close enough to see the three days of stubble on the driver's chin (hopefully, a male), when inexplicably, he pulls out! What the ????? "Why didn't you pull out in the 20 minutes it took me to reach you? OR, conversely, why not wait 30 seconds more, and then pull out since THERE IS NO ONE BEHIND ME!!!"

You're well aware that you can go around them, but why should you? This is their fault! They should be the one to move to the right shoulder and out of YOUR way, so you are not forced to turn the steering wheel even one millimeter! PLUS! You had to abandon your cruise setting!! The whole trip is ruined now because of this *&^*! inconsiderate boob behind the wheel of a car!

I think it's possible that I sometimes get overly dramatic about stuff that happens to me, but after I think about it some more, I disagree.

Don't Touch My Car

One of my (many) pet peeves is when someone puts a flyer on my windshield. Now, I have to deal with this piece of paper! Sometimes I try to flick it off with my windshield wipers, but can't really do that because it would be littering (and it usually doesn't work anyway). It irritates me that someone thinks it's OKAY to put something on my personal property. DON'T TOUCH MY VEHICLE, PEOPLE!

Even if I want, and have been searching for, the product or service you are offering, I will not patronize your business because you violated my "code of conduct". This also applies to anyone calling my home, trying to sell something.

And, while we're on the subject, I'm not a fan of being accosted outside the grocery store with people trying to get me to sign a petition, or buy something. It just feels like an ambush. There ARE things I want to support, but I don't want to feel forced to do it. But, maybe that's just me....


Let me start by stating that few things in life are more satisfying than weed-eating and mowing. You see the results of your labor right away. It's especially enjoyed by those of us into immediate gratification.

That being said, there are a few aspects of "working the property" that are NOT as enjoyable. Both of the places that we've lived had an acre of land with the house. The good news about our previous home, was that the land was flat; the bad news was, it was right on a main road, so it was difficult to enjoy with the NON-STOP traffic. The home we're in now, is on a steep hill, which means all the "field" part of the property is on said hill. No one piece of equipment can handle the job..... it requires them all.

I started this morning, with good intentions. Going to pick up ALL the debris (sticks, pine cones, rocks). That lasted about 5 minutes. Then, I just decided to set the mower at the highest setting and "go for it". Apparently, we have a gopher problem......all the ground is misshapen and has dirt piles everywhere. So, I'm out there trying to push the stupid mower over this stupid uneven ground, and believe you me, I'm using muscles I haven't used since I gave birth. I get past that part, and then I'm under the trees, where, evidently, I "missed" a few sticks. It sounds like I'm running a wood chipper out there, but I DON'T CARE. My husband was yelling at me.....something about "the blade of the mower getting dull", but again I DON'T CARE. That's why the mower place sharpens blades, right?

Plus, if "the husband" doesn't like how I'm doing it, then he can get himself and his ruptured disc down there and do it himself.

I'm not even going to talk about the issues I had with the stupid weed-eater, that DOES NOT automatically feed the line as advertised, and keeps revving like I'm running a food processor on "pulse" Or the death trap riding mower that I got tipped so far on it's side that I tried to catch it with my foot (not recommended).

It also became clear to me that my spouse and I have different perspectives on physical labor. When I see him working in the yard, or say, installing mini-blinds, etc, I couldn't be more attracted to him. However, when I approached him after working in the yard, he held me at arm's length, and wouldn't look me in the eye. My feelings would've been hurt, but just then the wind shifted and I caught a whiff of myself, AND when I came in to get cleaned up, saw that somehow, I even had pieces of grass, etc, stuck on my teeth. (?) So, note to self; take a shower before greeting husband.

Ah, the joy of will need mowing again in a week!

The Beginning

So, it occurs to me that I have lots of things that I want to say.....not that anyone wants to listen, but nevertheless, it seems that it could just fester if I don't get it out. I am a medical professional, who has been in this field for about 25 years (Wow, that sounds old. Probably because I AM old), and it just amazes me how clueless people can be. "You're short of breath? Oh, do you think that could be related to smoking for FIFTY YEARS?" But, I don't say it, and try to keep my face from saying it (which I usually fail at. Ask anyone. I have zero poker face ability). My work life consists of talking (and praying) all the way to work, that if I "kill anyone at all, let it be with kindness", and telling myself "You CAN DO IT". "You're a winner". "Hang in There", and multiple other poster slogans that just irritate me.

At home, I'm married to a fantastic looking man. No. Really. I can't even count the number of times, some insensitive boob asked me, "How'd YOU get him?" (or variations, thereof). Even my own mother, whenever I complain about him, says "But he's soooo cute!", like that makes up for every other failing. And, to make matters worse, he's REALLY nice. It's like being married to a puppy; everybody makes over him, and wants to pet him, and makes excuses for him when he piddles in the house.

But, I'd be lying if I said his looks don't matter......I mean, I DID fall for him, and fall in a big way. Okay, true story. This is how we met. He's a funeral director. A mortician. An undertaker. (You get the drift), and he would come to the hospital to pick up, ahem, "customers", and I had a MAD CRUSH on him. Seriously, I would see that death gurney coming around the corner, and my heart would be going a million miles an hour (actually, that might've been from the No-Doz). He was always very cordial, and professional, but NEVER, EVER flirted at all, even though, I all but gave him my house keys. Never knew that he liked me. Turns out, he's kinda shy. Who knew? I was able to capitalize on his low self-esteem, and gentle nature. SCORE!

There's lots of other details in this story, but since I assume I'm going to run out of things to say, at some point, maybe I should hold back a little. Plus, I have to go to the bathroom.