Poison ivy - gone. Itch - no longer. Fear of the 3-leaf scratch monster - ginormous. In other words, I learned my lesson - if only I could correctly identify the plant at the root of all my recent misery.
Maybe this bout of poison ivy was a gift. Maybe I am supposed to learn what harms me so I can be on the lookout for it and avoid it. Maybe I'm supposed to take that life lesson and apply it to other areas of my life - what food harms me, what people harm me, what outside influences harm me, what bad habits harm me. Maybe I should be so wary of those harmful things that I would do everything to avoid them.
This case of poison ivy was the worst I've ever had. It was super-itchy and did a slow spread, making it last for a few weeks. It certainly made an impression and made me want to avoid poison ivy at all costs. I will be paying closer attention to those green leaves of three.
Now it's time to identify those other harmful things so I can pay closer attention to (and avoid) them, too.
Earlier this week, I bought a bag of the terrible things pictured above. Molly said to get them because she was going to put them in a brownie cupcake recipe. However, she did not make the cupcakes and the terrible things stayed at my house. You know what happened next - I ate one, then two, then too many to mention. It has been warm here, so they made it into my refrigerator. Unfortunately, that just made them more tempting, so I ate too many more.
Tonight, I ate enough to put me into a peanut butter cup sleep coma. Fortunately, Molly took the remainder of the terrible things away from my house. So is Molly the villian or the hero of this story?
I would think about it, but I have to go take a nap now.
Lindley's day care is closed on Tuesdays. Not sure why they pick Tuesday instead of Friday or Monday (think LONG weekend) to shuck the kids, but they do. It gives me the opportunity to keep Lindley all day. Just thought I'd give you a brief idea of what our day is like:
Usually I sweat through an hour of butt camp, come home and drink my chocolate milk (the thing you should have after you work out), shower, and make a Starbucks run for me/Sam/Lynnette before I pick up Lindley at her house (yes, on Tuesdays I run bus service in the morning). I had planned to do that today, however ...
Everything was going according to plan. I had sweated and attempted and modified my way through butt camp. I had showered and chocolate milked and breakfasted and was on the road to Starbucks, which frankly, Granny Lu needed this morning.
I was on the interstate when I got a call from Steve saying he had turned around on his way to work because his tire showed a low reading, and when would I be home so he could take my car to work? So I called Sam, told him the story, and arranged for a Lindley handoff - sort of like passing the baton in a race. Two minutes later, Steve calls and said his meeting wasn't until 9 so there was no rush, which any wife knows means there really is. I pulled up to Sam and Lynnette's, sirens a'blazin', went in and collected Lindley, and headed for home. Please notice there was no Starbucks stop - Granny needed a Buckys but PawPaw needed to get to work, so off we went. Of course, two minutes later, Steve called and said he decided to go to work with the low tire anyway. Figures.
Now I am met with an ethical dilemma. Okay, so maybe not so much ethical. Should I call Sam and Lynnette and tell them I am going to Starbucks and will bring them their usual Tuesday treat? I decide against it, instead going to a different Starbucks (didn't want them to catch me at the usual one and feel sad). One Grande Mocha Frappachino Light later, we arrive at home.
The rest of the morning was fun (since I am posting at noonish, you'll have to imagine the rest of the day). Rather then use 1000 words to describe our morning, I though I'd post pictures instead:
First, Maggie taught gym class:
Next Maggie made sure everyone was ready for nap time:
Next was nap time - for just about everyone. (Kat - The quilt was a hit in today's babysitter's club!)
After naptime, it was time for Hygiene Class:
Finally, it was lunch time. Maggie, or course, decided to join the fun. First Maggie noticed Lindley, then Lindley noticed Maggie, and there was a little Lindley-Maggie bonding. At least for Lindley!
Now it's time for some whatever until our afternoon nap. I'm not sure what the afternoon will bring, but if Maggie's noticed the two poopy diapers in the trash can, I have a feeling she might be pushing some litter box training!!
At least, not last night. I spent most of the night with N. Somnia, finally parting ways around 3am. I did sleep until 7:30, which did involve skipping boot camp. Not to worry, since I will get a double dose tomorrow.
Anyhow, here's hoping for a solid night's sleep tonight. But just in case, maybe I should check into getting an XXXX-Large version of the Bumbo!
Things that make today great: Painting the desk red; Molly's new deck; chatting with the deck builders; picking up Lindley from day care; chatting with Neighbor Ned; beef tips dinner with Steve, Sam, Lynnette, Lindley, Molly, and Adam
Once you become a parent, you strive to raise your children the best way you know how. You read all the current literature and listen to all the experts. But most importantly, you are careful to avoid making all the stupid mistakes your parents made. After all, the only reason you have the emotional, mental, and every other kind of problem you have is because of the wrong things your parents did while you were growing up.
The years arrive when your children become teenagers and educate you on what a rotten parent you are because of all the mistakes you have made since their birth (and are continuing to make during those lovely teenage years). Eventually you emerge from those teenage years, waving the kids off to college and eventually their own homes.
If you're really lucky, you get the ultimate exoneration - grandchildren. Of course, you realize once again what an irresponsible parent you were by allowing your child to sleep in a dangerous crib, fed them unhealthy food, let them watch television, and encouraged them to play with life-threatening toys because of the NEW latest literature and experts.
Then you see a picture like this, and realize maybe you weren't such a careless parent after all. You see a remembrance of a time past and another baby now grown to an adult. You realize that in spite of any "mistakes" you made, you must have done pretty good - how else could you get such a sweetie as this?
Today Lynnette, Molly, and I went to a consignment sale, one that was advertised as being "the biggest in Middle Tennessee." Yesterday afternoon we studied the sale's website, reading all the rules and regs for attending.
For instance, there were strict hours for who could come when. There were rules about what you could put in if you wanted to sell your stuff. There were rules about what and who you could bring into the sale. In other words, we really had high expectations about the quality of items in this sale.
We arrived about 20 minutes before opening time and joined the line of people that began to stretch around the shopping center. We noticed people bringing laundry baskets, shopping baskets, and shopping bags. We began to wonder how we would hold all our "treasures." We needn't have wondered.
We also noticed the people in line who had diaper bags and shoulder bags that were clearly listed in the rules as things that would not be allowed in the sale. We noticed strollers that were against the rules. We noticed the scads of kids under 10 who were supposed to be at home with babysitters, because they were not to be allowed in the sale. In other words, we should have realized that the rules were a joke, clearly not be be followed since they weren't going to be enforced. This lack of rule following should have been our first clue that this was not the sale we were expecting.
When we finally entered the large building where all our "treasures" were waiting for our purchase, we still had hopes of locating some good buys. However, instead of the "restricted brands" of items that consignees were supposed to follow, we found brands that were on the "not accepted" list. Instead of "high quality" items, we found stuff that had seen better days, even mediocre days, before it was dumped in this sale. We found stuff that, for only a few dollars more, could be bought new - and in much better condition. In other words, our expected consignment sale was a total fail. We left after a relatively short time having bought nothing.
Maybe we wouldn't have been so disappointed if they had said, "Bunch of crap at so-so prices." Instead, they seemed to promise more than they delivered. I know three buyers that will certainly beware the next time!
This would be me, searching for something to write about. I'm just not finding anything.
Sure, Karen and I fudged a bit on the reps for butt camp torture this morning. But that's our issue because we figured staying conscious was better than having Josh call 911.
Sure, Rambo brought a dead bunny to Molly - in her bed. But that's Rambo and Molly's issue because he got a haircut and she has no kitchen to cook his offering.
Sure, there's a big consignment sale tomorrow, but since we just found out about it this afternoon, Lynnette didn't get a first-time-mommy pre-sale ticket. That's Lindley and Lynnette's issue when Lindley finds out she missed out on the good stuff.
Sure, I had my feet reflexologized for an hour. Ahh, now that was good stuff. But other than that, it's been a regular Friday. On to Saturday's adventures!
First, I tried to look at some optical illusions. The first one did me in. Then Molly and Maribeth decided to video-chat with me at the same time which required much reading and processing and answering. I am also sleep-deprived and hopefully on the tail-end of several weeks of creeping poison ivy, not to mention being a boot camp slowpoke this week. Add to that the humid heat of Nashville, and you have all the pickings for a ripe headache. A least I do.
So instead of finding a cat video or writing a sermon, I shall muster enough energy to take an aspirin, slather on the generic Benadryl lotion, and brush my teeth before falling into bed.
After all, tomorrow is Friday and I have to be ready for boot camp. Somebody's got to bring up the rear!
In other words, my eyes said, "Yummy, yummy!" Afterwards, my stomach said, "What were you thinking?" Obviously my brain said, "I had nothing to do with this."
The good news is that it was good and the first few billion bites were delicious. The bad news is that the last few billion bites were also delicious. What's so bad about that? I refused to quit the deliciousness.
At least I'm won't be trying a watermelon diet anytime soon!
This morning when the alarm went off at 5 am, I rolled over, turned off the alarm, rolled back over, and slept until 7 am. It was heavenly, mostly because I didn't get up and debate whether to go to boot camp or not. I didn't spend 20 minutes talking myself into going. In fact, I thought of nothing at all - I barely even remember turning off the alarm.
Sleeping in was great because it wasn't planned. It just happened. I turned off the alarm and everything else, and rested. I think that's a good plan for those times that life gets to be a little much. I'll just turn things off for a while and rest. After all, life will always be there - I'm just a little better at it when I've had time to take a breather.
Things that make today great: sleeping in this morning; veggies and cornbread dinner with Sam, Lynnette, Lindley, and Molly; Toyota drivers and servicemen; afternoon Starbucks after picking up Lindley at day care
Another diet bites that dust, that is. My latest attempt at a new diet has been halted. It's not the diet's fault. It's just that the diet and I could never quite get in synch.
Over the years, I've been on lots of diets. Some of them counted calories or points, some had me eating certain foods (most of which I'd never heard of), and others had me eliminate certain foods and only eat certain foods. Some diets worked and I lost weight. Some sort of worked. And some didn't work at all.
There are still many diets out there that I could try. Diets that work for many people. But for me, I've just got to learn how to eat properly. I don't know what that means, so I'm going to take a breath and figure it out. I still have hope that I will lose weight - I just want to do it in a way that I can live with.
Things that make today great: Friday boot camp; giving blood at the Red Cross; returning stuff; new quilt from BB&B; Sonic dinner from Molly and Micaela; chocolate oatmeal cookies from Mary Beth and Matt
Yesterday in a fit of cleaning, I decided to wash my bedroom curtains. These are the curtains I made after we remodeled, which was sometime back in the 1880s. I made the curtains, hung them, and let them be until yesterday, when I decided that the layers of dust had to go.
I thought the worst thing would be that they would be wrinkled. When I took them from the dryer, they weren't so bad - in terms of wrinkle-ness, anyhow. Then I hung them, and realized that wrinkles were not the problem - the new length was.
Apparently the curtains shrank. I realize I probably could have laundered them differently, but I didn't, and therefore ended up with curtains that were six inches too short. Luckily I could still hang them and maintain some privacy, which I did so I could pull a Scarlett O'Hara and think about my problem another day.
I was in no mood to sew new ones. My house is a mess, and creating a new mess was even less appealing that too-short curtains. I went to Target to look at curtains, even choosing a few to bring home in hopes they would do. The problem was that the curtains were 63 inches long, and my windows are 54 (give or take an inch or two). So it looked like I was going to have to sew after all - which did not thrill me with joy.
I decided to shop around a little more and visited a couple of stores with no success. My last hope was Wal-Mart, presumably to look at fabric. While there, I looked at their curtains. I found some which might suffice - 63 inches, though. Down the aisle there were some more - cheaper but still 63 inches. I kept going down the line, finding more possibilities. Then I saw them - a set of curtain panels, and they were 54 inches - the right size. They were also the color of my walls, so I knew they would do. Maybe they weren't perfect, but they were just what I needed at this point in my life.
I could help but think of the Bible verse in Philippians 4:19, "And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus," (English Standard Version). Sure, some may think God doesn't have time to worry with my curtain issues. But I think He does. I think He knew what I needed and provided me with it. He did it because He loves me and wants me to trust Him with everything in my life - from the tiniest of things to the greatest.
It's easy to ask God in the big things in life - sickness, trouble, distress, flying in airplanes. But I tend to overlook Him in the nitty-gritty of everyday life. And yet that's when I should be in constant contact with Him. The more often and more intimate conversations with God create the relationship that I most desire, one of ultimate dependence on the One who created me. After all, He knows me best and all my needs before I do. And because of His love for me, He wants only good for my life. I just have to believe and trust - every day in all things.
Things that make today great: sleeping in until 5;30 and missing butt camp in order to take Steve to the airport; going after Rambo several times; picking up Lindley at day care; Baha Burrito with Molly; cleaning up Molly's patio; loading office furniture into Steve's car; washing the soon-to-be-former bedroom curtains
According to the Mayo Clinic, this is a picture of poison ivy. This pictorial knowledge would have been helpful a couple of weeks ago when I was weeding the yard. Apparently we have this in our yard and I brushed up against it/pulled it thinking it was a weed/rolled around in it. I know this because now I have the resulting rash that says, "Yeah - you were in it!"
I had always heard the phrase, "Leaves of three - let it be." I knew poison ivy had three leaves. However, apparently I did not know exactly what those three leaves looked like. To me, these leaves look like oak tree leaves. Okay, I was absent in Mrs. Lusk's ninth-grade biology class when leaves were taught. And I don't know why I think these look like oak leaves. The point is that I now know exactly what poison ivy looks like. Maybe.
Today's lesson is this: a little information can be a dangerous thing. Leaves of three mean nothing if (a) you don't bother counting the leaves you encounter, and (b) you don't know what the three leaves you should be avoiding look like.
Of course, any information is useless if you don't take it to heart. This isn't the first time I've had an encounter with poison ivy in my yard. One would think after the first encounter, I would pay closer attention to the plants. But I didn't, thus resulting in itchy rashness.
Now I am paying attention. In fact, I think that I will just avoid all yard work in my yard in order to avoid the itchiness that I am now enduring. Rash situations mean taking drastic measures - that's my other lesson of the day.
Things that make today great: hanging with Lynnette and Lindley during Lindley's ear infection dilemma; straightening the living room a little; looking for Rambo in Molly's neighborhood and eventually going to pick him up from the lady who found him; cleaning Molly's fireplace and looking at old house pictures; passing out from cookie coma after dinner
Apparently I am getting quite good at this. So, in case your diet is working and you are sticking to it, here are some tips so you can wallow in failure like me:
How To Justify Blowing Your Diet
1. Go out of town with your daughter and eat at a place that serves comfort food cooked just the right way - full of fat and calories and deliciousness. And sit by a statue with a penis so you can emotionally eat everything on your plate.
2. Go to stores that are not in your town that serve big cinnamon rolls that are really delicious that you don't normally eat and shop for hours in this store with your daughter, thereby justifying the eating of the aforementioned cinnamon rolls that are jam-packed with sugar and loads of calories.
3. Eat the remainder of the sack of M&Ms that were left in the console of the car, because your daughter is passed out from cold meds because she has a cold and you are driving nonstop from your shopping trip and need to stay awake so that you can get home and get the sickly one in bed.
4. Eat the eggs and sausage and waffles and English muffin and bagel with cream cheese from the hotel's breakfast buffet because it was free with your night's lodging, thereby insuring that you got your money's worth.
5. Upon depositing sniffling, sneezing and coughing daughter at her house and husband offers to pick up dinner at Sonic, order more greasy, fried food because you will probably get sick from germ-ridden daughter and need more body fat to live off of during your incubation.
6. After spending Friday and Saturday practicing the above-mentioned tactics, repeat with gusto on Sunday. After all, everyone knows Monday is the day diets begin! Or at least start over!
Ok, just for starters, I am not an artist. On a different note, I am a proponent of recycling. Today while I was having lunch, art and recycling collided, making me a bit uncomfortable.
Molly noticed it first. The sculpture was on the side counter by our table. Molly suggested I look at it and take a picture. I did. My question is, did he have to be so anatomically correct? As hard as I tried, I could not come up with a different explanation for the appendage in between his hands. And frankly, I did not care to have his appendage staring at me while I ate my country-fried steak and macaroni and cheese.
A few years ago, Nashville commissioned a piece named "Musica." It depicts a group frolicking around freely sans clothes - enjoying music, I guess. Frankly, while music has moved me in many ways, it has never prompted me to shed my clothes with my fellow choir members and dance around outside in my birthday suit. And yes, when it was first installed, I had to drive around it a few times and gawk. I've even run a few races whose route took us by the sculpture and still managed to keep my clothes on.
I don't consider myself a major prude. But I'm just not sure I need a yim-yam flaring out at me in public. I guess it's art - it certainly caught my attention. I'm just not sure how to critique it!
Even though it's been two months since the Nashville floods, and even though we had no flood damage, I still get a little nervous when I'm in a hard rain. Even though I know the rain will end and not end in another flood, I still consider that possibility.
Tonight as we entered Atlanta, there were several heavy thunderstorms. There was some standing water on the Interstate, and a few heavy downpours. At times I couldn't help but remember that weekend of rain, rain, more rain, and the flooding.
But then God puts a rainbow in the sky and says, "Not to worry. I've got it all in control." And He does. I just have to keep my eyes to the sky and believe.
Things that make today great: Chatting with the electricians at Molly's; BSC with Lindley; Sonic drinks via Lynnette; ATL road trip; scouting out IKEA with Molly; finding the hotel again after a CVS run
I met her. I didn't get a picture, since taking pictures was "against the rules." But I got to see her up close and personal - and it was "loverly."
I was there for her to sign a copy of her newest children's book, "The Very Fairy Princess." In order to do this, I bought the book and received a ticket for the signing. I was in Group 8, and according to the ticket, 25 people were in each group.
When I arrived at the bookstore, Group 4 was being called in. I sat to wait my turn and watched other people waiting their turns. There were many young girls - all who seemed to be fans of Julie. I overheard one mom telling how her daughter's music class this year was all about "The Sound of Music." The daughter was in pre-kindergarten.
After awhile, my group was called and I got in line. I wondered what it would be like when it was my turn. Would she sign without even looking up? Would she be in a good mood? Would she be everything I hoped for?
I needn't have wondered. When I entered the room, I felt like a teenage girl, because all I could think was, "OMG, OMG, OMG!!!! It's Julie Andrews!" She was absolutely beautiful and spent a few minutes with everyone who came to her table. She chatted with the little girls and was so kind and gracious. When it came my turn, I handed her my book and we shared a few words, mainly about reading the book to my granddaughter. I wanted to be able to express how much her career has meant to me, but the words simply weren't there. I figured the best thing was to say "thank you," and move on for those behind me.
Today I got to meet someone who has been an idol in my life. Sometimes our idols tarnish when we see them in real life. Today was not that day for me. She only polished up even brighter.
Thank you Julie, for a lifetime of joy, entertainment, and inspiration.
Today was Lindley's first visit to the zoo. There were many families who were at the zoo and kids of all ages. Some were there for the first time like Lindley, and some were probably there for their regularly scheduled visit.
Of course there were a few meltdowns, like the two little boys who were taking turns screaming, "I HATE YOU," to each other. There were little kids having fun in the water spouts and others riding the carousel. There were adults pushing babies in single strollers and siblings in double strollers and grandparents in wheelchairs. There were mommies still carrying babies in utero. It was a nice holiday to be out and about at the zoo.
As we took Lindley around the zoo, of course I wanted her to be amazed at all the animals. But most of the time, she was amazed at the other kids, or her dad's camera, or the tree she was next to. She did look at the elephant and the giraffe and the zebra and she really liked the petting zoo animals. For a nearly 6-month old, she had a great time at the zoo.
Everyone at the zoo today had different expectations for their experience. Maybe some wanted to see every animal. Maybe some just wanted to play on the playground. Maybe some planned to spend every minute there from opening to closing. But as long as everyone kept their expectations in line with who they are, then a good time was had by all.
Sometimes it's hard for me to keep my expectations in line. I want to lose 50 pounds by tomorrow, or develop six-pack abs by the weekend, or learn to say "NO" to chocolate-dipped chocolate ice cream cones. Inevitably I am disappointed. So maybe I'll just adjust those expectations. Maybe I'll just work on trying to do more crunches, or steer clear of Bobbie's Dairy Dip, or try to stick to the diet - for today.
Lindley will return to the zoo and every trip will be different as she grows. Expectations of her zoo experiences will change. So maybe my expectations will start small and grow.
Things that make today great: Zoo with Steve, Sam, Lynnette, and Lindley; Calypso Cafe with Lindley, Sam, and Lynnette; seeing Molly in her car on her way to the movies; Steve's Bubba burgers for dinner with pimento cheese
This is what I had for dessert after dinner tonight - a chocolate dipped chocolate soft-serve ice cream cone. I would have provided a picture of my actual cone, but there was no time between the point of the cone being handed to me and my wolfing it down. In a word, deliciocity.
I chased it down with a fountain diet Coke, evidenced by the "burn" that can only be achieved through a fountain drink. I can only hope the negative calories in the diet Coke balanced out the high octane calories in the CDC cone.
As far as my diet, I cannot even begin to attempt to justify this. So I won't try, mainly because I am about to fall asleep from the sugar coma. Until tomorrow - just be jealous!
Things that make today great: lazy Saturday morning; Steve's delivery of chicken salad sandwich for lunch; babysitting Lindley while her parents saw Toy Store 3; dinner with Steve, Sam, Lindley, Lynette, and Molly; phone chat with Maribeth
There were many things I hoped to accomplish today, but didn't. However, there were many things that I did accomplish. By this evening, I was pretty tired, and took Steve up on his offer to bring dinner to Molly's house (where we were cleaning and arranging). I had my choice of dinner, and chose a Sonic cheeseburger.
Hours later, it's still digesting - at least I suppose what the gurgling is all about. I just hope it is done by tomorrow's poor meal choice - probably from Sonic!
Things that make today great: paying bills; great day to open the windows and let the outside in; getting Molly's new kitchen sink; U-haul dudes; moving furniture from Molly's house to our house; cutting my leg on the exhaust pipe of the truck; Steve bringing dinner
Yes, I hear voices. Usually it's the chocolate ice cream in the freezer, or the leftover Halloween candy. But since I've consumed all of that, I guess they had to say other stuff today. Let me elaborate ...
This morning I had custody of Molly's car because there was a nail in the rear left tire. The plan was for me to take it to the tire store down the street and get it fixed. During the ride to the tire store, a voice kept saying, "Just pass the tire store and go to the dealership." But I refused to listen and pulled into the tire store parking lot. They were a little busy since it was just after the 7am opening time. I didn't have an appointment and was told that it would be about 45 minutes before they could look at the tire. About that time, Tire Dude came over to tell me that the nail was in a bad place in the tire and couldn't be fixed. They didn't have that particular tire, but could sell me one of theirs. Since I figured Molly would prefer matching tires, I thanked him and decided to head on to the dealership, WHERE I SHOULD HAVE BEEN ANYWAY, HAD I LISTENED TO THE VOICE!!
Anyhow, I got to the dealership and they said they had the tire in stock. However, since I didn't have an appointment, they would have to "fit me in." In other words, I sat in the customer lounge for the next 3 hours. The ac was set on a sub-zero setting, and since I was in my "I'll just run out for a quick errand and nobody will see me" outfit (the jogging shorts I slept in and a fresh t-shirt), I was rather chilly. Add no-makeup and my frizzy hair shoved into a pony-tail holder, and I was quite lovely. After three hours, I was also getting quite hungry, since it was past time I should be eating my "mid-morning diet meal." I decided I would get some peanuts from the vending machine. The voice said, "IF YOU GET THOSE, THE CAR WILL BE READY, SO DON'T GET THEM." But I did anyhow, and as I got ready to punch the buttons, they pulled up the car. I got the peanuts anyway.
As I got ready to drive away, the voice said, "DON'T EAT THOSE PEANUTS - YOU WILL MESS UP YOUR DIET AND YOU WILL BE SORRY." I ate them anyway. And promptly chased them down with a Starbucks. And then a tuna sandwich when I got home. And then more stuff that I'd rather not mention. And yes, the diet was shot for today.
Finally, after picking up Lindley at day care and shopping with Molly, we decided to stop by Sonic. I was eyeing the foot-long Coney dog. The voice said, "NOOOOOOOO." But I did anyway. And now, a few hours later, I finally understand the reasoning behind the voice.
So, today's lesson is to listen to those little voices - at least when they seem to be making good sense. Maybe tomorrow my hearing will improve!