Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Dressing Dilemma

When I was in middle school, we weren't allowed to wear shorts to school, yet our required school gym shorts were indecently short. Jams, the knee-length crazy-bright print drawstring shirts that were all the rage for kids my age back then, hadn't quite come into the scene.

Isn't it ironic that they wouldn't let us wear shorts because they didn't trust us, yet they forced us to do squat-thrusts and everything else in a gym full of boys in those super short shorts.

You know, what running shorts look like today.

I was fortunate to be in great shape back then with legs to match, though there I was with those horrid glasses I had to wear. Blech. A look at my 8th grade yearbook pictures will show that I hid my glasses for every picture. It didn't make me a knockout, but I will tell you this:

Since I was 12, whenever we went to the beach for a vacation and I went swimming, I did have much older boys giving me the eye. Of course I didn't swim in glasses. I hid them then, too. The old saying about men not making passes at girls with glasses was definitely true for me.

But I had a killer hourglass figure at twelve. :D. All the way past college.

Actually, I still do. I just don't like how generous those curves are now. But I'm working on it.

On the bright side, all three of the sport tank tops I bought last not really accentuate my shape, though they don't actually control anything into a false impression of an hourglass. It's for real.

On the dark side, I can't find a pair of shorts for running that actually suits me. Last night I did buy a pair of running shorts and....

... I think you have to have perfectly toned thighs for them to not look indecent and disgusting at the same time. And my thighs do not currently please me. But these shorts are way too short.

But the longer shorts are Bermuda length, and while the length does satisfy me in the mirror, they do that same goofy move that gets on my last nerve. They ride up on ONE freaking leg!! The other leg won't stay up there if I push it up to match.

Now I'm beginning to understand Flo-Jo's running costume with one long leg and one panty leg.

Still, what am I going to do about this? I wish there was something loose and in a medium length so that it just wouldn't ride up asymmetrically. That drives me crazy.

And I grew up in a house with someone telling me that anything tight or short was what a whore would wear. See the dilemma?

Maybe the fault is mine because I did go looking at Wal-Mart for running clothes and the nearest real sporting goods store (with real clothes for runners) is in another city.

I'll get nicer clothes when I don't cringe looking in the mirror at how the current ones fit. :D

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Shin Sleeves and Hives!

I just realized that what I thought was a heat & sweat induced rash has magically vanished. I suppose it was anxiety-produced hives. Awfully itchy like the other time I got them, and I was just as upset the last time, albeit for a different reason.

Gee, what could have I been dreading so much that I broke out in hives, hmm? And just as sudden as the onset, removal from the stressful situation made the itchy things go away? I wonder.

My legs feel better today. Shin splints seem to be healing up -- I can kneel again without excruciating pain. It still hurts, just not as badly. (Sometimes you have to give the dog a bath, and kneeling is required. Kindly remove mind from gutter, thanks so much. Lol)

I think I would benefit from getting some shin compression sleeves to keep the swelling down in my lower legs. They are slowly becoming more defined - I noticed that tonight. So are my thighs.

Oh, not that the casual onlooker would notice, but when I flexed them, I could see the beginnings of muscle definition. Yay me. That's the look I'm after and not sure if I can get it.

Now if I can just get back into a daily workout routine, I'll be fine. Swelling and lingering pain are causing me the most problems.

What color shin sleeves should I get, though? They're going to attract so much attention. :(. Nothing is going to be inconspicuous. Go for fabulous? Purple? Red? Black?

Laters, Baby. ;). Well, the shirt had me laughing pretty hard when *I* saw it. I kinda want one.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Angel & the Whipping Boy

Spend all your time waiting
for that second chance
for a break that would make it okay
there's always some reason

to feel not good enough
and it's hard at the end of the day

I need some distraction
oh beautiful release
memories seep from my veins

let me be empty
and weightless and maybe
I'll find some peace tonight

in the arms of the angel
fly away from here
from this dark cold hotel room
and the endlessness that you fear

you are pulled from the wreckage
of your silent reverie
you're in the arms of the angel
may you find some comfort here

so tired of the straight line
and everywhere you turn
there's vultures and thieves at your back

and the storm keeps on twisting
you keep on building the lies
that you make up for all that you lack

it don't make no difference
escaping one last time

it's easier to believe in this sweet madness oh
this glorious sadness that brings me to my knees

In the early hours of Sunday, I was awakened by a racket in the living room of my family's lake house. I'd gone to bed very early, sick, which is rather unusual for me, being quite a night owl. Headache, stomach pain, and worst of all, aching swollen shins. not to mention being figuratively shoved in the corner.

I hadn't been there in 2 years, though the rest of my family has. I felt alienated, but decided to give it another try this weekend. Stupid me.

I don't have to be the center of attention, but when you know I am talking to you, please don't ignore me. I promise I won't bother you for long.

This is why I spend so much time on my iPhone. At least I can retreat into a book when nobody has any use for me. If I'd had my earbuds with me, I would have blocked the rest of the world out.

As it was, I was unneeded and unwanted until someone wanted help getting their dinner bill straightened out. I should have repaid in kind and turned a deaf ear but I attempted to help and got pushed aside yet again. So I tuned out. No worries. Nobody notices when I leave conscious presence anyway.

The racket turned out to be my sister retaliating at our father for something he had said. Her revenge was to throw my things into the trash. I guess she doesn't dare get back at him so she turns on me, as she always has. Her screamed excuses at me were all contradictory, and within the same sentence.


Long story short (I know, too late), I decided that I've had enough of being punished by her for things I didn't do. I dug my stuff out of the trash and cleaned it off, packed my things, and I left the family vacation after only one day, with a two hour drive back home.

I was clearheaded when I left, calmly having realized that she would make my life hell for the next two days and would spin it to make me at fault entirely.

As you do.

Well, I don't. I can meekly admit my own culpability. So here is my blame in that particular situation: I was there and I looked like an easy target for *someone's* wrath -- a person with no history of ever fighting back when attacked. Wanna see the scar on my back that proves it? Yes, really. Why the bullying? I don't know. Is it because I was always such an easy target who wouldn't dare tell Dad on her?

It was always my fault somehow anyway and led to me getting a whipping for being a tattletale before I learned to keep everything inside.

(And he wondered why I didn't come running to tell him I was being abused at my mother's apartment. Why he couldn't even drag it out of me when he gave me the third degree about what went on over there. Yeah. Closed in his bedroom with him with a bright light focused on me. It had all of the atmosphere of an interrogation for something *I* had done wrong. I was terrified on many levels. So I didn't tell.

I *told* much later and a chill descended between us forever, apparently, but that's a tale for another day.)

All I can say is, in parenting, it must be difficult to do things the way *you* want to and make your kids give you the desired results despite that. /sarcasm

So I calmly explained to my father as I packed my car that I've had 41 years of being the whipping boy (okay, so I'm a woman) and I was done.

He told me I shouldn't be mad at her.

Oh really? Didn't he hear me tell him what she had done? Did he hear her voice screaming at me and not even notice that I wasn't screaming back?

Will everything always be one-sided and slanted in her favor no matter what the reality of the situation is?

I don't have to win. I just need to be heard and considered fairly. And after 41 years of always being told she comes first ("She gets first pick of everything because she is older. It's only fair." Yep, I was actually told that as a child. ) I realized that it will never change. I'm always going to be last in consideration, never equal.

I hugged him before I left, as I was telling him what happened and why I was unhappy about it and why I had to go home. He didn't reciprocate. He just sat there stiffly as he always does with me, and acted like he didn't want me touching him.

I was thinking about Josh as I drove through Obion at 3:30 Sunday morning. I had already been driving for a bit over an hour, and with every mile, my self-destructive thoughts just got worse.

I've heard someone make the callous remark that if you really mean to kill yourself, you don't slash horizontally across your wrists, you cut vertically up your forearm. I have to disagree with them. If you're serious, you cut open the femoral artery. (Maybe it just seems a callous thing to say when you are actively contemplating it. Still, I didn't put forth my alternate plan.)

I saw the sign for Obion and I started thinking about Josh. Admittedly, I wasn't on his radar for long, but he was really nice to me for the short time he was interested in getting to know me.

When the Internet first became widely available, I started thinking about trying to find him and see if maybe he wanted to continue our friendship through email. I really wanted to talk to him all of a sudden. A few days after that, I came back to town for the weekend and opened up the newspaper.

And saw his obituary. It took my breath away

At the beginning of a successful career as a nuclear engineer, he had suffered a bad breakup and shot himself. Maybe it is a just a coincidence that I had a sudden compulsion to talk to him at that time. Maybe it wasn't and I dropped the ball. I'll probably never know.

The song? No association with Josh, of course. It's me. It just describes really well the way I feel about my life. Not that I think there is an angel watching over me. I don't.

I slept until nearly 4 Sunday afternoon. I can't remember all of my dreams, but it felt like I was trying to sweep an eraser through my memory in an attempt to sleep soundly, but still I was plagued by worries.

My subconscious seemed to be desperately seeking dreams that would distract me from my self-destructive thoughts which truly seem to be the only solution to all of my problems.

I remember one dream -- I was running another 5k. First I got there hours too early and realized I didn't have my running shoes with me. So I thought I would drive back home and get them. Then I couldn't find where I had parked my car. I went to the police to help me find it and after some incompetent deputy had me wait on him forever, then he couldn't find the place where the race was. When he found it, the number of cars had multiplied into the thousands and miles full of people and festival tents were scattered everywhere. After the exhaustive and fruitless search for my car, with no shoes, I realized race time was approaching and it was all I could do to get him to drop me at the starting line.

Which he couldn't find, of course.

So, thanks!!! to the anxiety that black-dogged me while my brain kept me asleep for more than twelve hours. I didn't really get out of bed yesterday. I showered. And got right back into bed. Cooked some soup. Got back in bed to eat it. Hey, I was still in a lot of pain. (I still am.) I would have skipped the soup but I thought it might soothe my cramps away. And it did. For ten minutes. Grr.

The headache still has me sidelined and in the dark, two days later. I'm beginning to think it isn't merely a physical malady.

I definitely feel like I've married the gunner's daughter. So to speak. #AM4SP

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Doe, a Deer, a Female Deer

Everybody sing!

Just outside of Union City on the way to Martin, the stench of the Obion River is worse than ever before. I've heard numerous explanations for this, not the least of which is that there is a dog food processing plant that scoops up local road kill for ingredients. 😝

I don't know how true that is, but the smell rivals driving past the Reelfoot meat company on a hot summer day with no air conditioning in your car. Hurl worthy. I suppose the road kill comment is either speculation or urban legend. I hope so. I wouldn't feed my dog that on the worst day.

There was a bit of chauvinism on the way to the lake. My (very capable older) brother stopped to put air in his truck's tires and Dad made us pull over and wait on the side of the highway and wait for him. Then we pulled out a minute before he caught up and Dad refused to drive faster than 55 in a 70 mph zone. On an interstate highway. Hmm.

All in the name of making things easy for my brother so he didn't feel left behind, I presume? It wasn't how my bruh was feeling when I talked to him. We all know how to get to the lake house and we all knew we were stopping at a particular fast food place everybody (but me) loves 30 minutes down the road, anyway.

After my brother caught up and took the lead, they left ME behind. Working steadily past the 70 mph limit outside Union City as soon as it was possible, with them both far ahead of me, I saw the first deer on the side of the road.

A large doe. Waiting to run out in front of a speeding driver and kill them and their family.

I've been told this about deer at the side of the road -- if you see one running across, you'd better stop or drive really slowly because they travel in groups and they are stupid enough to stop in the middle of the road, frozen by the light of an oncoming vehicle. Ever heard the expression "looking like a deer in the headlights"? There ya go.

I hit a deer in my same vehicle in 2005 at 55 mph. Bambi-0, me-1. I was lucky that it only ruined the front end of my car and that I was up high off the road in a small Toyota SUV. (Rav-4, fabulous gas mileage, small vehicle.) I've heard stories about people that died when the deer was knocked up into and through the windshield, and the occupants of the car were killed by the antlers.

My sister was in the passenger seat, sleeping. That's the part that bothers me more than the sneaky deer coming out of nowhere from the brush literally at the edge of the highway. You can't protect yourself from that happening to you. It's pure chance.

We were both unharmed, but the front end of my car was trashed. I discovered that the metal frame in the front end of my car resembles a battering ram. Still, I didn't want to find out the difference in survival variables between 55 mph and 75 mph, so I made no further attempts to keep up with the men in the family.

Thanks a lot, guys. I'll get there by myself and I'll be okay.

About an hour before we arrived there were two dead deer on the side of the road. Uh huh. Somebody else wasn't so lucky.

Ten minutes before our destination the highway was blocked off by a nasty car wreck. I didn't see it happen, but I was stopped right in front of the trailer attempting to load what was left of a white car. It kept falling off. It looked like the entire roof of the car had been caved in. Like a giant had turned it upside down and squashed the top flat into the pavement.

My gut tells me there was no survivor. My brother tells me it was a drunk driver and those people seem to never get hurt when they are in a DUI wreck.

There must have been at least ten highway patrol cars there but I believe the ambulances had gone. I think I saw a large fire truck. At first I had thought it was a sobriety checkpoint and fished my driver's license out of my purse.

Maybe a DUI, maybe a deer? Maybe they hit the rumble strip on the side of the road at too high a speed, lost control, and flipped the car into the median. No way to know other than to check the local newspaper online today.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Oxygen Delivery

I started at the gym tonight on a stationary bike because people wouldn't get off the elliptical trainers. :). 20 minutes on the bike, breathing hard.

Then I got on the elliptical and set it for 25 minutes plus a 5 minute cool down. I never slowed down a bit and for the first five minutes, I was struggling to get my breathing controlled.

Breath play. Yeah, not into that at all. ;). Lol No, I'm not kidding.

Once I had my breathing stabilized, the rest of my cardio time was relatively easy. I thought that was how it worked, mmm hmmm. I just have to get myself past that threshold of ineffective panic breathing so that I can keep going.

I suppose the elliptical is reading my heart rate correctly, because the bike read something similar. It pushed up to 189 beats per minute pretty fast and didn't drop lower than 180 until I was nearly in my cool down segment.

But I didn't feel bothered by that. I know that's far over the target heart rate for my age but I felt fine even then. Not lightheaded or anything.

I was in the zone. My shins even stopped aching. Endorphins? Maybe. But I wouldn't say it felt anything like euphoria. Something more like assurance of survival. Hahah I know, I'm pathetic.

Doctors have told me my heart is really strong. I'm going to be around for a long time barring unforeseen accidents and diseases. Unless, of course, I wind up giving it to save the leader of the Resistance in the machine-controlled post-apocalyptic future.

I always preferred Reese though. Michael Biehn... Wow.

I'm reading an article about adding something intense to my warmup to force myself into a good level of oxygen delivery much sooner. I have to learn more about that.

I hate that the first fifteen minutes of my running time feels so impossible. I'd rather have the "I've got this" feeling for more of the real workout. ;). I detest feeling like I'm in the middle of a protracted failure.

I'm not sure if It is even possible to make my body look the way I want it to... I'll really have to find a way to strip a lot of fat off of me. I read that until you hit the 30 mile a week threshold in running, that's not going to happen. Can I do it? Hey, don't start in about being too thin when I'm still in the wrong weight category. It isn't like I've had anybody telling me they like my body the way it is.

No appreciation = no opinions from the peanut gallery contradicting what I would like to see in the mirror. :P

Besides, one of my goals is to get there and make a lot of people mad. ;)

Making Fruit Tea

I'm from the Steamy South (don't know how sexy that is, with it being the Bible Belt and all), where we can make tea outside... Just with the sheer heat of the sun. Yes, really. And then we pour it over ice and call it the house wine of the south. ;)

Right now I'm devising a recipe for my own fruit tea. It's either going to be tropical or black cherry. Hmm. Could go either way. I also have a bottle of yummy strawberry cider in the fridge that I should probably drink before it goes bad and gets wasted. I wish I could get more of it but I have to wait until October to search for the seller again.

Heck, I could probably make my own. It tastes like lightly sweetened strawberry jam. Mmmmm.

My friend Tom is celebrating a birthday in Russia today. His 49th, I think. His birthday is the 24th, but I think it's already there in the near Siberian place where he lives. Totally inappropriate association with him, cherries, tea, Russia, and Mikhail Baryshnikov from that episode of Sex and the City. He said Russians actually use sugar or honey to sweeten their tea. :).

Cup of Earl Grey? Lol

I don't understand putting milk into tea, however. Eww, sounds nasty. Oddly enough, I can't drink black coffee, and my family's way of making iced tea is to boil it in a pot on the stove. :D. I know, that's so *wrong* but I got compliments on it when I took it to a dinner party once.

I was thinking, really? But I have had some local iced tea that is simply hideous. I think that somebody attempted to slip in saccharin or some other artificial sweetener, and that's disgustingly awful. 2 quarts of iced tea + 3/4 cup of sugar. Mmm just right.

But you know, I'm American, so what do we know about proper tea? I dunno, but we know how to dump it in the harbor if you piss us off. ;)

So there's my secret for southern tea. Lol. Someday I'll go back on Facebook and find where I shared my grandmother's recipe for Poor Man's Pudding. Bread pudding, actually, with no icky raisins and made from leftover homemade biscuits. (Not cookies... Scones, I suppose.)

I loved her pudding. :). But it's a family recipe that she possibly created herself out of necessity, and I happen to like it better than traditional bread pudding. It's wonderfully comforting stuff. I always said that i would make it for my children if they were home sick in bed.

But children aren't in the cards for me, though I still make the pudding sometimes for family. With hard sauce, for my brother. Lol

Hmmm. My tea smells ready. :)


Well, that was an interesting and worthwhile experiment, but I don't think it's going to become a staple in my kitchen.

I think I'd rather make fruit tea with uh, fruit juice, rather than syrup. Mix half orange juice and half pineapple juice, then mix THAT with half tea. 25% OJ, 25% pineapple, 50% tea.

Run improved, marginally

Finally, my cardiovascular system seems to be getting on board with this 5k training program. Today included slightly longer runs that I thought I was giving up far to early in, but a few seconds later the message to slow down and walk would break in.

It was not an exciting run visually, but my muscles and ligaments and such were all struggling to keep up anyway. I ran around the school. I started out on the grass but then I discovered that the grass was just as hard as the pavement so I opted for the pavement because it had no hidden holes.

I was able to get control over my breathing sooner, too. That's the part that makes me tired, not muscle fatigue. Pushing myself on through a bit of pain isn't the problem -- it's being able to just breathe.

So having gotten to this point means that my lungs are getting stronger. I had told my youngest nephew today that if I couldn't make it today, I was going to start back on day 1 of the program and see if I can't do better.

Fortunately, I didn't have to. :)

So this is why I'm in bed already, well before midnight. Lights off, and that's unusual. Ooh, might I be growing a tad *normal* on the sleeping thing? Is all that oxygen I took in to thank for how clearheaded and calm I am?

Is my butt just worn out from running? Lol that's the one, right there.

I woke up hungry this morning and I had oatmeal in a jar as breakfast in bed. While sleeping.

Sleep, alarm, eat a couple bites of oatmeal, snooze, repeat. Haha. Turns out it took the "heart healthy" larger serving of oatmeal to satisfy me though. So that's where I am with breakfast -- I do need pint jars after all.

Hopefully I'll sleep well tonight. I certainly thought it weird that I wanted some warm flannel pjs and my ice packs. it's too warm for flannel but I've been too cold the last two nights.

Please let that be a side effect of my liver burning off some of my pudge. :)

Monday, May 21, 2012

Birdie in the Wall

Birdie in the wall, why dost thou torment me so?

For the last three days, a bird has been trapped in my living room wall. They pried up the siding on the outside and thought they had a prime nesting site.

And then someone fell in.

Someone who has been squeakily and frantically scrabbling behind the drywall, presumably to gain purchase inside the wall and climb back out to freedom.

It happens every spring.

Every spring.

It is a seriously disturbing sound when you know what is happening inside the wall and can't do anything to help the poor creature.

Sooner or later there will be enough bird bones filling the inside of the wall that there won't be a dangerous hollow to fall into anymore.

I wish here was something that I could do to help that poor bird. As much as I know it is suffering and desperate, it is upsetting me every time I hear the claws scratching loudly inside the wall.

I've had the opening closed up before, but the birds always find a way back in... their eventual deaths, protracted as they are.

I know it's horrible of me but I keep wishing for the bird to either manage the climb back out or to go on and die. :(

Late night and glass jars

...Though not as late as usual and I was industrious.

I washed all of my bedding and had a marvelous night's sleep. I don't think my comforter was completely dry, however, and I wound up needing a blanket. Oh, I also spun the mattress, so it was like my personal dent was gone. That's a lovely thing.

I'm not sure if he "fresh bedding effect" is real or simply mind over matter, but I did sleep well last night in the few short hours I had. Perhaps it was my failed run yesterday - mostly walking as it so happened. All of that oxygen pumping through my bloodstream certainly gave me a healthy glow this morning.

I made oatmeal-in-a-jar last night because I'm trying to lay off the protein bars a bit. I think I'm probably fine on protein as it is,but oatmeal is a smarter breakfast.

Basically, I put a serving of old-fashioned rolled oats in a half-pint jar and topped it off with skim milk. Cooked it until it was barely warm and then refrigerated it. Ready for a short bit of reheating this morning, and all I had to add was a couple of squirts of my sugar free cinnamon coffee syrup for a yummy hot breakfast.

I think larger servings would have been better, but I do already have a collection of those pesto jars. They're cute and very useful for adding some country-styled organization, so far to my bathroom shelves, anyway.

I remember having a fascination with small glass jars when I was a little girl. I believe I'm still fascinated. Plastic just doesn't hold the same charm.

I also made my morning lattes last night and put them in the fridge ready to drink. At this time of year, I'd rather have my wake-up cup cold anyway. (Skim milk, sugar free flavor syrup, instant coffee. Ooh, I'm such a bad girl. Kinda lazy too, if you consider the instant coffee. Lol I am making the attempt to drink better. )

I could make the lattes in glass jars as well, but I don't have a collection of jars in large enough sizes.

So hey hey, I'm recycling too! Dare I cut the bottles the syrup came in into glasses and vases, since I seem to have a talent for breaking my own drinking glasses lately? No other way to recycle them around here, unless I try my hand at making dandelion wine... I could do that. Lol

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Yucky training run

And I use the term run, loosely. I only ran about half of the intervals I was supposed to. Several things were problematic.

I ran a cross country trail around the school. Most of the ground was beaten bare and hard as a rock. The softer running areas were on sideways slopes. The wooded section of the run was covered with sweetgum seed pods. Gumballs. They are like running on marbles. And then there were the arch supports. One worked perfectly. The other felt like a rock in my shoe. Argh.

My time sucked. My breathing sucked. The hills absolutely conquered me. But no shin splints today.

Of course, the minute I came home and tried to stretch on the floor, my dog was in my face wanting me to play with him.

It was too cloudy for seeing any part of the eclipse. Lightning and storm clouds made for some nice little breezes though.

Maybe I'll have a more pleasant time running at the park, though it is all paved. :(.

My cardio game is definitely NOT in play here. Wondering when I'll hit that point of being comfortable with panting.

I guess I just don't spend enough time panting. ;). Don't look at me -- I've been trying. I suppose running will have to be the only thing I breathe hard for.

I'm beginning to fear I'm always going to be fat and absolutely disgusting even though I exercise.

Like My Grandmother

My maternal grandmother has always impressed me as an elegant southern lady from Georgia. She has that old-fashioned, soft aristocratic accent too. Instead of hard Rs she says ahs. Know what I mean?

I love her but I have to admit that I have always been awed by her, and I never felt that I would be as classy as she is. :).

The last time I was at her house in 2005, she took me to her bedroom and I could tell she was struggling with something she wanted to say to me.

Some background info: I'm her only first-generation grandchild who never got married. All jokes aside, I just never found anyone who was willing to be nice to me. I'm the quiet one, and it does take some effort to get to know me. I suppose most guys didn't want to waste their time on a chick who wasn't easy. ;). They just didn't like me enough to show it.

I didn't think that getting married was imperative because I needed someone else to take care of me. (I took care of myself. In some ways, I raised myself. I got little parental guidance on anything.)

Local men often seem to get away with treating their girlfriends or wives awfully because they know that their woman believes she has to have a man or she is worthless. (I've heard them say it many times. "She'll put up with it because nobody else will have her!" Someone even said it to me. Guess what? I put an end to it.)

Come on, y'all, it's not true. You have even better reasons than I do to show a little backbone.

I also didn't subscribe to the local idea that if I didn't have a husband, I was nothing. Well, the locals still think of me that way, but my more sophisticated friends elsewhere tell me that I really am not suited for small-town redneck life anyway. I just need to move to where people like me are in abundance and my outlook will improve.

My grandmother makes quilts and crocheted bedspreads for wedding gifts for her grandchildren. Ah, isn't that lovely? :). The sentiment she was struggling to express was that she is getting along in years (she turned 90 this year) and she wanted to make sure that I had something in case I ever did get married. She was just afraid that she would die before seeing me married.

:D. Heeheee. It's a little funny, you have to admit that. And sometimes you need the laughter to prevent the tears.

Unfortunately, it is a distinct possibility.

So I chose a lovely lavender shell-stitched afghan for myself, because I do love purple and making myself happy is the important thing.

We had a good laugh about it and I hugged her. She had worried that I would be offended by her fear I'd never get married. Well, at least now *I* don't have to worry about it, right? ;)

So, mindful that I have nieces and nephews from the branches of the family tree that didn't just die, and knowing that they will likely all need wedding presents some day, I'm following my grandmother's lead. I'm working on making a stash of blankets and afghans in my leisure time (it's all leisure time when you're single and off work). Oh, and baby blankets as well. They'll have children.... Before you know it.

I suppose you could say I have a weird compulsion to make sure that those I care about stay warm.

Ruined 4 tops today

Remember the broomstick skirt I dyed red? Well, it bled all over that load of laundry.

Yep, I did know better, but I wasn't thinking when I tossed it into the load. Ruined a nice embroidered-logo polo shirt for work, my two newest tops, and the cobblestone printed shirt it took me two freaking days to paint by hand...

Not to mention the third day it took me to slash and sew that shirt into a flattering redesign for me.

Plus, I can't find my tub of OxyClean to begin to remove the due overrun.

I've rewashed all four items in cold water to no effect. Still pink in the wrong places. Why didn't the dye stick to the damn skirt that well?

Now I have to go to the store and buy some color remover and hope for the best. But it's late and I look rather awful so I think I'll just keep them all soaking in a tub of cold water until tomorrow.

Oh my God. Talk about not seeing the forest for the trees. I just glanced at the check mirror by the bedroom door, and what did I see?

The tub of OxyClean, sitting visibly on the corner of my cedar chest, for Pete's sake. Not 10 feet from me. How did it get there? Don't get me wrong, in glad to have found it, but that's fairly eerie.

Um, thank you, whoever?

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Is it still a veggie if you liked it?

That almost sounds like the argument for or against reading _Fifty Shades of Grey_.

(Yes, that's the best I can do regarding proper underlining for a book title on here. Now you see why I usually just utilize quotes even though I know they are for shorter works' titles.)

Is it still acceptable to enjoy reading a story if it describes deviant behavior? Is it still deviant behavior if both parties consented and enjoyed it? Oh, the things some people will never understand...

Someone once defined a nymphomaniac as "someone who has more sex than you do." Humans can be so judgmental when they are minding everyone else's business.

Perhaps it is best that we keep our noses out of the bedrooms of people who are happy doing whatever it is they are doing there. Just because one is a nosy peeping-tom voyeur, it does not make other folk exhibitionists who are willing to share with you.

Well, on to the food. We can all have food. ;)

I just made my first batch of zucchini chips in the microwave (I've been making potato chips that way for nearly 15 years) using a Pampered Chef microwave chip maker. Even though the insert says NOT to make anything other than potato, sweet potato, apple, and yucca chips on it, I tossed caution to the winds and dashed ahead.

Yucca? What in tarnation is yucca? Isn't that some kind of cactus? I don't suppose it is available here. Why eat something that sounds like "Yuck-a-chunk of cactus!"

I didn't like using the chip maker because it took at least ten minutes to get a single small zucchini cooked into chips. Maybe it was my microwave, maybe it was my fear of fire, I dunno.

I decided to try the oven baked version next and they are cooking now. It'll take about an hour to finish them but at least it isn't an hour with me standing and opening the microwave at 30 second intervals to check progress, as recommended. (It also vents some of the moist air as you go.)

I made mine oil and parchment paper free because I am baking them on a well-seasoned PC baking stone. They better not stick because it should be a nonstick stone by now. :)

I might try making kale chips too. It seems that this could be a good way for me to increase my vegetable intake because the chips are delicious. Cooked zucchini? Not so appealing. Zucchini bread? Oh yes please, but what do you do about the oil, sugar, and extra carbs? Grr.

Zucchini au naturel plus a little barbecue seasoning or seasoned salt. :). I'll take it.

Now, I'm not about to become a health food advocate or vegetarian, but i do need to find ways to make me want to eat healthier food. And I do like to cook delicious food. If it comes out less than fabulous, I don't want to cook it.

I tried years ago to turn my family on to my microwaved potato chips. :). Not a raging success (probably because we grew up on greasy chips in the 70s and 80s), but my nephews got a little older and began to appreciate the hearty crunch just a bit. Still, I can't have potatoes in any form around much.

I am, of course, the cake decorator of the family ;). Yep, the purple glittery sheep of the bunch, though I do love my black fleece at times. So when I cook for other people, I want it to be spectacular. :)

Finished Granny Stripe

Took me less than three weeks, but i didn't work on it every day, just mostly at the ballpark. Washed and dried after this stint in the backyard, of course. It covers the top of a queen sized bed, though I haven't measured it yet. I love the rainbow of colors. :).

So now it is ready to go... Where? I'll either sell it or put it away as a future gift for someone in my family.

I will say this: yarn that looked dirty to me stopped looking so bad when I started working with it and it became "mine". This could be due to the fact that as it went through my hands and got knocked around all over the place in progress, I probably knocked off a lot of the residual dust.

Now that I have washed the finished afghan and put it through a no/heat air fluff cycle in my dryer, that abandoned yarn seems to have a new life. (The previous owner of this lovely stash passed away, and family members gave it to me in a huge garbage bag. I hope she approves that her yarn is going to be loved instead of thrown away.)

I feel a tiny bit better, which could be due to the sixteen hours of sleep I got last night. I finally woke up at 1:30.

I have a sick doggy, though. Poor fella has been retching this afternoon. Got the bedroom carpet and the corner of the bed. Nice. Eww. He's snuggled up against me napping right now. No playing. I bet it has something to do with drinking mossy water in the backyard yesterday. I took him in, but I think the damage had been done. :(

Perhaps I shall try making some baked zucchini chips today.

No More Zombie Nation

Another bizarre dream about running - I worked for airport security and there was a bomb scare. But people got in my way, so I couldn't take off like I needed to. Yet it never occurred to me to just shove them out of the way. That's not nice.

I think that nature makes women increasingly more insane and miserable with PMS in the years leading to menopause. It is absolutely getting worse for me. My mood swings are getting violently worse, though it is thoughts of personal violence that really plague me.

I've spent the last three days at work explicitly, vigorously, and instantaneously cursing people in my head the minute they cross me. Some of that isn't limited to just foul language -- I really am wishing for ill to befall them via curse.

I know, it's wrong. But I don't believe it is a sin to mentally tell off some jerkoff who is being ugly to me. Besides, it allows me to stay quiet and not say bad things out loud.

Know something? The last few days I've seen a little bit of karma coming 'round on some folks. Whatever you believe in, even if you're one of those people who has faith in nothing more than sex (as you do, some are merely hedonistic), you know that there is payback, eventually.

Now, I am still hoping for some of the good karma to show itself, but have only seen the bad. Still, right now my mood is affected by the tunnel vision of extreme depression, really nasty hormonal imbalance, and a pre-existing and untreated diagnosis of BD.

In short, I'm in Hell right now and I feel abandoned. I feel that even if they knew, they wouldn't care. All expecting someone else to check on me while all contact is broken off. Times like these it is easy to believe that most adults I know would breathe a sigh of relief if I just killed myself.

I'm not going to be a lab rat to have medication experiments enacted by inept general practitioners and I'm not letting the local version of uncertified counsellors mess with my head either. They're no better than witch doctors. Charlatans.

Some day, pharmaceutical companies will begin work with the intent of keeping people well, instead of poisoning them for profit. I believe they will eventually learn to engineer medications by patient so that they can reliably bring people up from their depression, make their mania controllable, and NOT KILL all of their creativity in the process. No more zombie nation.

Then I might consider medication again. None worked for me other times I took them, the side effects were unpleasant, and other people responded positively to my turning into a zombie.

That's why I object to people encouraging me to pop handfuls of pills like they do. I don't think it's glamorous, I think it is a crutch of ever-growing dependency, no matter the excuse you lay forth.

I was abused and I still don't think pills are going to make that go away. (Gee, did I hear yet another man tick that off as an excuse to disregard me? Your loss. BTW, that line of thinking makes you the problem, not merely lazy.) The only therapy that will work is to replace the misery of yesterday with happier situations today and tomorrow. It's too bad I can't just make it so by sheer force of will. Nobody can.

Hopefully, I won't be let down on planning a sudden cruise with my sister. I have to get out of here. If she lets me down...

Friday, May 18, 2012

Vogue Knitting App

I'm a bit disappointed in Vogue Knitting magazine. Their special crochet issue is on the stands for sale, but after contacting them directly, they have stated most firmly that the digital issues they sell are only available through their special iPhone / iPad app. Otherwise, screw you, buy the hard copy and let it clutter up your house.

I've got both an iPad and a iPhone. So why am I complaining? I checked the very low ratings on that app and nearly everyone using it reports problems. It crashes.

Oh, I just paid for Draw Something only to find that it crashes as well. I paid for an app that is totally unplayable. Jerks.

That is where my sentiment lies on being someone putting a ring through my nose.

With the last update of the VK app, not only was functionality reduced from prior versions, many users lost their prior PURCHASES as well. They haven't found a way to get those purchases back, and customer support will not respond to them.

At $5 an issue or more, I've got a huge problem with not having any option but a faulty app to access my purchased issues. After all, it's JUST A PDF.

Other magazines I've purchased from Cloth Paper Scissors were available directly from them instead of through Zinio. I don't have a problem with Zinio, but I think that the ability to back up my purchased downloads is something I'm entitled to.

So. I purchased the issue I wanted, against my will, via (faulty) in-app purchase. Am I stuck with no way to backup?

Heck no. I'm screenshotting each page of the issue, putting them back together in CamScanner Pro, and I'm going to upload my finished magazine PDF to Dropbox for safekeeping.

So there, Vogue Knitting and your proprietary ripoff software. I hacked that. I'm still ticked that they only allow owners of iOS devices to buy digital issues though. That's just exclusionary and it's wrong.

I suppose they think it will keep people from pirating copies of their digital magazines. Obviously, if I can back mine up, I could say "arrrr mateys!" and rip them off. But I'm not going to do that. Even though my fingers are getting a little sore taking screen shots of 100+ pages.

Kiss my butt, Vogue.

I have a dream

Actually, the dream made me think of the song from Mamma Mia the minute I woke up. It was a peaceful dream, and it made me happy. Very little has done that lately and I've been desolate and miserable, so the dream was helpful.

I have a dream
A song to sing
To help me cope
With anything
If you see the wonder
Of a fairy tale
You can take the future
Even if you fail
I believe in angels
Something good in everything I see
I believe in angels
When I know the time is right for me
I'll cross the stream
I have a dream

I have a dream
A fantasy
To help me through
And my destination
Makes it worth the while
Pushing through the darkness
Still another mile
I believe in angels
Something good in everything I see
I believe in angels
When I know the time is right for me
I'll cross the stream
I have a dream
I'll cross the stream

Note that she doesn't say she believes the fairy tales... Just appreciates them. :).

I dreamed I was running and it was painless. (Even in the dream, I was concerned about my shin splints as i started. Let's hear it for those who tear muscles while trying to do something positive for their health.)

Almost effortless running as well, which makes me think that maybe I took a trip back to when I was 14 and still had to run in PE class. I never minded that running, but the next year when I wanted to go out for track, suddenly it was "unladylike".

I know my parents will never appreciate the conscious effort I made to be as trouble-free as I chose to be. I was angry enough that I could have rebelled and been absolutely hell on wheels. Not once did they get called to school on my behalf.

I was rewarded by not being allowed to participate in any extracurricular activities that troubled a stepparent for a ride home after 3:30. I lived half a mile from the school. It wouldn't have been so much to ask. Not like oh, band and horseback riding lessons and piano lessons. I even tried to walk home but that was too dangerous do I couldn't do anything.

After the wild kids in the family got past, I was rewarded with a horribly strict curfew and no freedom. Work, school, nothing else allowed. I got in trouble for going to Wal-Mart after school for an hour. True, I was just walking around in there talking to my best friend because I hated going home that much. I was the good kid, and smart enough not to believe the line about the absolute chokehold on me being a sign of parental love. In this case, that's a lie.

Anyway, maybe that dream was a positive reminder that I can still get back to running, despite my current injuries. Even in the dream I reminded myself to get OFF the concrete and into the grass. :)

I found a shin strengthening exercise using weights and a pulley to do toe lifts. Maybe if I could fit my foot through a kettle bell? If not, I can engineer something. (I do have little feet, so maybe.)

Like last summer, I plan to spend most of my free time drowning in improving my shape. I want to run, really want to, but not for any reward other than just how wonderful it feels to move that fast. Im doubtful ill lose a single pound doing it. My killer routine and dead metabolism last summer (3 strenuous hours daily of weight training and cardio) didn't cause any weight loss and it should have.

I may end up spending a lot of money swimming in the evenings at the community center as well. Just swimming laps... I can't believe I can still swim as well as I did last year. Good cardio work with no torn shin muscles.

The intent is really to kill myself working out and hope that something positive happens with my body, but if a heart attack kills me in the process, I'm not so sure that would be a bad thing either. I've got nothing left. I don't want to be me anymore. At least exercising alone doesn't generate whispers -- it's rather expected.

Sleeping in Public

I fell asleep on the couch in a coffee shop today.


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Feel so bad :(

I've been having blood sugar problems all day. :(. Stressed out and angry too. Which is why I've been posting coping strategies on Twitter. I'm only half kidding.

We saw a huge crowd gather during class today, kids yelling "He hit him right in the eye !". It sounded like a fight so we headed to stop it. At some point I saw another teacher starting to run and I thought "uh ohhhh" and decided to run as well.

So halfway there I kicked off my sandals mid-stride and sprinted. In a long skirt. Barefoot on the blacktop. I don't know how fast I was moving but I got some surprised looks. :).

Yeah, you try it.

With my high arches and tender diabetic feet, I don't think I'm gonna become a barefoot runner, however. I do not want to develop little hobbit feet after all. I like my little feet tender and not hard. How does Eddie Izzard do it, anyway?

Aww, y'all didn't believe my stories when I said I used to be a fast runner, huh? I told you so. I can swim fast if I need to go and rescue a child too.

Maybe that adrenaline rush kicked my butt though. I've been feeling like a crying jag has been coming on ever since I got home.

For the record, my posterior shin splints (inside of shins, or maybe stress fractures) are now hurting all over again. Time for Tylenol and ice packs, I guess.

Grounded off the Track

Sitting here after my 5 1/2 hour nap (gosh, my naps at the end of the school year get longer and longer just to cope with the chaos and stress of the day). I'm not sure whether it is my brain or my heart that needs the healing more, but something is certainly demanding that I sleep far too much these days.

Today the school records person emailed my department to let us know that she expects us to hurry up and get final grades posted immediately. Um, we still have two weeks of classes left and it would be WRONG of me to deny them that time to max out their grades. So take a chill pill and just freaking WAIT for my grades. By the way, I can't get in to post any grades right now anyway, mmmkay?

My shins are aching a bit. I blew off my training run because I was still feeling some pain and total rest is recommended for shin splints. They won't get better unless I take it easy on them, so here I sit. Maybe I should put ice packs on.

This is completely my fault. I should have stayed off the pavement and hit the cross-country trail as I had originally planned to do. I'll admit I was a little afraid of running alone in the woods. Now? Not so much. I'm invisible, after all. ;)

I finished that afghan though. Lol. Now I just have to weave in all of the loose ends and wash it. Have I ever mentioned how much I hate weaving in loose ends? Maybe this time they'll stay.

This would be a great place for a Ryan Gosling photo that reads "Hey girl, let me weave in all those loose ends for you while you take a nap and dream up your next project."

Anyway, it'll give me something to do at the ballpark on Thursday, while people gawk at the sheer size of the thing.

Only a couple of weeks ago it was a narrow strip of 8 inches and people were cracking jokes about how long it would take to finish. I was told by a corrections officer that I'd be surprised how many big, scary men in prisons do beautiful knitting and crochet. No, I wouldn't. It calms my nerves and they have nothing better to do anyway, as far as I know. Hey, great for them. I didn't have to go to prison to learn. ;). I wonder what they do with the things they make. Charity work, perhaps?

Three weeks, and well, I'm done. It would have been less time if I hadn't made it ten feet long to start. (I failed to notice the instructions I used specified dk weight yarn. Hahahah we don't have that here in the creative dead zone of the country.

I didn't get the dark chocolate as I intended, so I think I might make some hot chocolate. I'm not impressed with the rich creaminess touted by the Ghirardelli canister, by the way. If it's so creamy, why do I have to add milk? Hmm. Sounds a bit like ye olde Stone Soup to me, eh?

If this stuff is representative of what Ghirardelli has to offer, don't see what the big deal is. Right now I'm thinking longingly of one of the dark chocolate bars with chili that Lindt makes. I guess I was Mayan in a former life. (Might explain my inability to stay awake in a Mayan hammock. Or it could just be the unique way that they cradle and I need some kind of cuddling. Oh shut up.)

Cinnamon and chili in my chocolate just sounds yummy. Of course, not everybody can handle the bitterness of it, but it's chocolate, after all. Athena may perpetually influence me, but Cupid still insists I must dedicate myself to loving chocolate. Small consolation, but there it is. :)

On the other hand, I read that eating the equivalent of one Hershey's Kiss before running helps somehow. How about a whole bag of them, will that make me Supergirl? :D

I got a SPIbelt (search for it on Amazon that way) today. It looks like it is no wider than a zipper and seam allowance, but I can fit my iPhone inside IN its Otterbox, plus keys and a few other things for running. Pretty neat. A bit like Hermione's bag with the undetectable extension charm. Hahah What glee! I finally found it. Not bad for a hopeless muggle. ;)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

F for Frustration

I woke up on my bed sometime around 2 am, aware that I'd fallen asleep fully dressed (ouch, underwires, need I say more?), lights on, contacts in. On a hunch, I checked the milk -yep, frozen in a gallon-sized chunk. I set it out hoping it would be usable by 7.

At 6, I awoke again, and this time I got up, let the dog out, got my coffee going, took my contacts out, and lay back down. I'd just had a very angry dream starring two students in my last class of the day, being so obnoxious I just sent them to the office. Why do I have to have them bothering me even in my sleep? Why???

I got up for good at 7 only to realize that I had placed my contacts in a case filled with moisturizer, and it showed no signs of rinsing off. So I tossed that set and got out another pair of lenses.

Going for my coffee, I realized I had no disposable coffee cups to take it in, but I found one of my tumblers to carry it in instead, complete with a top I somehow managed to make leak all over my bare bosom after my shower.

*sigh*. Easy enough to fix. At least the syrup was sugar-free and wasn't sticky after I had wiped it off.

Even after I put my makeup on, I still looked tired in my eyes and my hair looked flat. Lost cause today. Whatever.

With just enough time to get dressed, I found that the top I wanted wasn't the one hanging up clean and waiting for me. I took a desperate look in the closet, which cost me valuable time.

Then I just gave up and grabbed my shoes. One of them was wet because my angry little dog had peed on it. I know I should have immediately put them in to wash, but I was already running late. I do not know WHAT his problem is lately.

When I went to the kitchen to refill my coffee and rush out the door, there he was, wanting out again. Well, I can't leave him out while I'm at work, so that was just too bad. I yelled at him for peeing on my shoes and promptly knocked my coffee over in the sink.

Yes, four-letter words were involved.

On to work, and I managed to knock my keys under my classroom door. I couldn't open the door, and I couldn't close it. It was stuck because the keys were jammed underneath. What's more, I couldn't get the keys out. I don't know how I got them back. Sheer blind stupid luck, I guess.

I also can't print progress reports for my students. I can't even get into the state system to update their grades from last week. And believe me, they keep asking for those reports. Soon I'll have a supervisor on my back about it, who will then proceed to talk to me like I'm too stupid to run a simple server-based computer application.

I really need for something to go really right with my day, or I'm going to head to the store and buy a bunch of the darkest chocolate I can find here. Then I'm going to exile the dog, lock the door, and turn off my phone.

There are nine days left of this school year. I'm beginning to contemplate taking nine sick days. I could. I might, if someone doesn't talk me down from this ledge before I totally flip out.

I went home and passed out from 4-9:30. A few times I almost woke up, and I know I did a little sleep-talking on the phone and on Facebook , but I was exhausted. Now it's nearly 11 pm and I have to go shopping. Feels like this week has been ten days long already and it's only Tuesday. Blech.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Misunderstanding of the sensual

Last night I posted a comment regarding how funny it was that I was shopping with family and while they were interested in finding stylish clothes, I was only interested in buying scented candles at the Yankee candle Store. I said I was more interested in the sensual than the stylish.

Oh boy. My young nephew got all flustered at that comment and said it sounded dirty. So I explained that sensual means appealing to the senses, such as the fragrance of the candles. I guess he was thinking only about touch. ;)

So, apologies, fella. I only meant the sense of smell.

Now I'm a little concerned about how much he does know. I think we are both a bit icked out. LOL

I did something the other night that I haven't done in a long time -- I took a shower by candlelight. Oh, it was lovely. I had to do that once during a blackout when I was a kid and ever since, it's a bit mysterious and magical to me to bathe by candlelight. It probably explains my fascination with gypsy vardos. I still want one of my own. :). If I had the smallest bit of carpentry skill, I'd build one and take it camping in the woods somewhere.

There's the 18th century part of my brain. I wouldn't mind living the castle life.... For a little while, until I became angry at the lack of light to draw and read by, and the the coldness of living in stone walls.

Still, I think I'd better do some personal research on what it's like to sleep in a castle. Next European vacation, maybe.

Excess Makeup and Masquerades

If you have to come up with an organization system for your makeup, you wear too much makeup. I see lots of creative systems on Pinterest for storing 20 eyeshadow sets and 15 blushes and 12 foundations and 75 nail polishes...

Oh my goodness!!!! Does anyone really need that much??? I mean, multiple palettes of color in every shade of the rainbow? I haven't understood that since I was a teenager.

Here is where I stand, and perhaps I do err on the side of boring rather than flash and pizazz:

I believe that makeup should be used to accentuate your natural beauty, not make you look like a stranger every day. Too much makeup makes people stare. We aren't all beautiful barefaced. I have to have a little eyeliner and lip color myself or I feel like Medusa. If you wear tons of makeup and you're not onstage, you seem insecure to me.

In the spirit of Coco Chanel - wear too much and people notice your makeup. Wear just enough and they notice the woman and see her as lovely. It's just an accent, like elegant jewelry. I'm guilty of overdoing it at times myself, but it got me no extra attention that I know of. Lol

I've heard stories of the morning after a wedding night, when the new husband discovers his bride looks unrecognizable without her makeup. Wow, what a letdown.

But there is always that love thing to fall back on, I guess. In the absence of empirical evidence, I have to plead personal ignorance on that. I'm still waiting to see if love is a matter of faith that has just been out of my reach or if it is a bunch of baloney created by delusional hormonal people. I was born under Cupid's eye; maybe he decided that he wouldn't insult me with his further machinations.

I have had one serious prayer answered by God. I asked for that painful longing for love to be taken away from me, if I wasn't ever going to have it anyway. It wasn't instant, but a fading away. Maybe I just cursed myself. Perhaps I was already cursed and I knew it all along, but I was wearing the mask of the believer all along. My costuming skills improved as I got older. *grin*

I do believe that love isn't what we always wish it to be. Books, movies, music -- they raise our expectations excessively. Perhaps love is simply a matter of comfort. That's a lot easier to find, anyway. :)

I wear the mask, it does not wear me! (The Man in the Iron Mask). I love masks. I have made some beautiful ones myself :) I had a real fascination for New Orleans and Mardi Gras once upon a time. I'm excited about going to Venice in a few weeks, and while I may not come home with an assortment of Carnivale masks and costumes, I hope to have a photo collection to inspire me.

I love dressing up too, especially in masquerade-type attire. :). Halloween is my favorite holiday, absolutely. But if you look like you are uncomfortable in your outfit, rather than it being a natural extension of your personality... Well, you look like a person in an ill-fitting cheap costume instead of a fantastic persona.

I've got one eyeshadow box, one blusher, one mascara, one foundation, and two eyeliners. (Okay, I usually only wear one.). It's rare I bother with anything else. On the plus side, I can put on my makeup in five minutes if I have to, and packing for travel is no longer an anxious matter. No decisions to make there. Ha ha.

Yesterday I couldn't find my bag of makeup (it was on the couch, not the coffee shop where I unloaded my bags on Friday) but since I don't wear that much anyway, all I had to do was find the replacements sitting in my drawer. Easy. :).

Well, I like the simplicity of it, anyway. :). But I'm are that lots of other people enjoy drama. I just like things calm, myself. Take that as you will.

Skull Sketchbook and UFOs

I have a few unfinished projects (UFOs - crafters know these as unfinished objects) right now and here I am in the planning stages of a bookmaking project. My nephew has requested that I create a skull sketchbook for him. Black cover, purple skull, full sized pages.

Yeah, I can do this. I've made books before. :). I think the reason they made it into my short attention span theater is that while the ones I made were elegant and simple, I really prefer bright, bold, crazy, and waaaay out there myself.

Right now I'm seeing so many things I want to do, and I know I won't have time to do them all unless I forego sleeping this summer. Of course, if I get into my creative near-manic zone, I just might not be able to sleep anyway.

Yeah. I know what you're thinking I need to do in order to sleep... LOL but it looks like running is going to be my only choice, once I can walk again. Shin splints. Gotta love 'em. Wait a minute -- no I don't !

The afghan-of-donated-yarn is almost finished. I'm within a few rows / inches of deciding just how wide it needs to be. (I can't WAIT to wash it - this dirty yarn is icking me out!) I've enjoyed working this particular pattern because it allowed me to go wild with a rainbow of colors. It also allowed me to crochet blindly while talking and looking at people. Their amazement that my hands were a fast blur and I wasn't even looking at my work amused me. What? Can't other people do that? *innocently blinking".

I have a sweater to finish, but I will only finish the first half of it in time to wear it this year. Maybe as a scarf, maybe as a shrug or shawl. The rest will have to wait. It will be too warm soon to wear the full garment anyway. Plans to do something of my own design with similar dimensions are already in mind. As usual. :)

I'm feeling pressure to use up all of that donated yarn. It's in my way. I've used about a third of it so far, and I'd like it stored as finished afghans / blankets rather than loose and dirty yarn. Okay, it doesn't look THAT dirty... But there is a lot we can't se with the naked eye and it only shows up in the nasty wash water. Eww. So I have learned from making my mesh shopping bags.

On the more positive side, I did finish the black mesh backpack and a twisted leather necklace for my nephew, plus a bracelet from pop tabs. Lol. But it does look rather cool and punk. Really. I've had requests for many more.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Does the brain know?

Today my shin splints got a bit worse. I made the mistake of squatting at work and the pain made me yelp. Oops, that's what I get for running on concrete, I suppose, and for not doing my toe presses lately on the leg press machine to keep my illiotibial area strong.

Anyway, I've had them before, and this is a minor case of them. Everything tells me total rest is the best thing, so I decided not to do anything to tax them tonight. Hopefully I'll get some healing done and can run the 5k on Saturday, but that is contingent upon waking up with zero pain or soreness. Shin splints only get worse if I ignore them and they knocked me out of training for about a week last summer while they healed. I did the toe presses up until November, and had no trouble running that 5k.

I came home today with the intention of sitting on the bed all afternoon icing my shins on and off, resting. What actually happened was that I pretty much passed out at 4, and other than a few groggy sleep texts in the middle, slept really hard until just a few minutes ago. 6 hours. Even left my poor doggie feeling abandoned on the steps outside all of that time.

I'm still sleepy and my eyes are watering like crazy. Lol I suppose I still need more rest.

I'm wondering of my brain knows how much extra sleep will be required to heal this problem and implemented that today. Can I trust it for the for the correct sleep dosage?

A scene from the movie "Tin Cup" keeps coming to mind. Romeo takes a drink in honor of his friend who has just passed out on the floor and says. "Here's to the finely tuned athlete on the verge of greatness!". Well, I haven't been drinking, but I do feel like I passed out on the floor because I can't take it anymore. Lol

Make no mistake -- I DO want to become a runner. I'm just off to a rather rickety start because of my age and condition.

I want to run because one of the track coaches told me I can't. Yeah? Bite me, dude. I CAN do it, and just because you do, that doesn't make you special. It's plain old animal skill to be able to run.

I want to run because I wasn't allowed to in high school when I could still run fast and I was told it wasn't ladylike and nobody was going to take me shopping for a sports bra to help me run. (That was a matter of someone being too lazy to make more than one trip in a school day to pick me up after track practice. Yeah, nice parenting there, lady. I should have walked home from school those days and done it anyway.) I probably could have gotten an athletic scholarship if I hadn't been kneecapped there.

I want to run because I used to enjoy it so much. I felt free and alive when I ran. :). Of course, I'm still free and alive, and when I survive running with no injuries, I feel fabulous with a nice cardio boost.

And you know, cardio is important if you're going to survive the zombie apocalypse.

Speaking of zombies, my zombie virus water bottle has been getting a lot of laughs and a few actual gazes of wonder. I think some folk believe that a. I would drink zombie virus when I'm pretty much already a zombie, b. zombie virus actually exists , c. I couldn't possibly be demonstrating that have a great sense of humor, and d. My sense of humor is pretty twisted, though it is never malicious.

I've been listening to "Living Dead Girl" and "Dragula" by Rob Zombie while I've been running, and they help keep me moving - because I feel like the walking dead sometimes when I start my training runs. They pair right up with "Don't Fear the Reaper," which always taunts me on my shuffled playlist. *sigh*.

A friend introduced me to those but I have to chuckle over his comment that he likes to listen to them.... Uh, in bed. Lol. Hey, I can see how that could work. I just don't have anybody to test it out with. My body tries to convince me to be a tramp, but my brain and heart are keeping me locked in an ivory tower.

By the way, all that is in that Zombie Virus bottle of mine is water and MiO Lol. I wonder how many strange stares I will get when I can hit the gym again. Hey, maybe a guy will actually SPEAK to me there. Yeah, right. Lol

I've only experienced an endorphin rush once as an adult, but I'm hoping it might happen again. It's more of an endorphin "gentle mist" that spreads out over the course of the evening after my workout, but on the one occasion it happened, it was like a bucket of cool water was poured over my head. I got my second wind and felt like I could keep running for another hour. All of my pain vanished.

Those naughty endorphins have been totally missing from my life for a very long time, so it's nice to realize they are still here, albeit relatively dormant. I didn't feel exactly "high" with them -- just a little better able to handle the strain of my workout.

Maybe if I keep working at it I can eventually get them going in a predictable pattern? I guess I'll see.

Got the Tech

I've got the tech stuff because I never found love. :). I don't really believe in that romance stuff anymore. Lol

On the other hand, I do wonder sometimes if people look at me with my computers and such and think they're looking at a real-life 40 year old virgin type deal. Haha.

What? I've gotta keep myself entertained. :D Nobody to answer to but he. Well, except for my dog, who woke me up at five am wanting out. Two hours early. Was still dark outside.

Yep, I left his butt out there till time for me to wake up. I barely remember staggering to the door to capitulate to his demand.

Melatonin kicking in. Nighty nite!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Accidental 5K Run

I was on day 2 of my 8 week 5k training program when my phone rang and killed my music and both of my running apps. The call was to remind me that I had my nephew was having another ball game tonight and he wanted me to go.

I didn't react well, I'm afraid. I almost cried when I realized what had happened. I sat down for about five minutes to straighten out all of the problems and start over. Then that is exactly what I did -- start over from the beginning. Somewhere in the middle of my second try, Runkeeper announced that I had already gone 2.5 miles - not far from a full 5k.

So I stuck it out and finished the training program for a second try and the result was that I not only (walked and ) ran a full 5k today, but I knocked 2 1/2 minutes off my previous time. If I take out the five minutes I was sitting and feeling rather angry and pouty, I actually knocked a full 7 1/2 minutes off my time.

What does this tell me?

Well, I accidentally accomplished a goal I hadn't expected to until midsummer - taking two minutes off time. Can I say well done if it was an accident?

I started getting control over my breathing again. Halfway through, and I was suffering.

I can do this. 5k isn't really as far as it sounds with a little bit of practice.

I caught myself trying to run on my toes and stopped it.

Running at sunset was a lot more pleasant than at 4 pm.

My shin splints are back. Right now I wish I was at home with ice packs on my shins.

I survived today, so these training runs should start getting a little easier. I hope. Please?

My nerves are getting on my nerves

Last night I bolted awake with a shriek in the middle of the night because of back pain. There is a nerve that causes me pain and spasms in a muscle along the right side of my spine a couple of times a month. I am used to it happening, though the pain is something I have never gotten used to. And the creepy crawly feeling of involuntary movement of my muscles, eww.

I suspect that this is a result of an accident in my sister's car when we were teenagers. She was rear-ended, and when I heard the squealing brakes, I turned to see what was happening and got whiplash on impact. There is a funny part to that little memory. My sister expressed her main concern when she heard me say ouch and the vehicle stopped moving. "My car!". Lol. Gotta have your priorities. (She was only 16... It was important to her.) Have it checked by a medical professional ? Are you kidding? Not my family.

My 21 year old boyfriend (2 years later when I was 17) would use rubbing alcohol to try to ease the pain for me, but it was only a temporary relief. My parents thought that he was merely up to no good with me but sometimes he was actually trying to help me. (Hey, he was respectful of my prudish limits. I was a good girl, mostly.) When the spasms started In the middle of the night, night became a sleepless, endless visit to Purgatory. Then I'd have to sleep through study hall the next day just to start trying to catch up on my missed sleep, because I always had to be at work by 4 or 5 pm. I really didn't have much free time as a teenager. But hey, I was trying to save up for college.

Once years ago I discovered that wedging a glass apple shaped paperweight against the troublesome tissue would allow me to sleep again. I guess the pressure from a rock hard object the size of my fist pushed the muscles back into submission while it was likely bruising my back ribs. But it worked. Sometimes you have to compromise.

This is why you can find a clean tennis or racquetball in my bedroom.... Softer substitute. :)

So last night when the trouble awakened me, I dug around in the dark to find the percussion massager my father had loaned me. You know, looks like an alien out of war of the worlds and you dare not let that thing hit bones for fear it might chip them. Beats the crap out of soft tissues like my wiggy back muscles.

I finally got it positioned to hit the right place without bruising my spine and waited for the middle of my back to go completely numb. Lying face down was not comfortable, but that's what had to be done. At some point my back went completely numb (of course I know that isn't the proper and healthy thing to do, but when I'm hurting, I do extreme things to stop the pain. Squeezing my head and packing it in ice for a migraine.... Making back go numb... It worked.

Of course, I did wake up three hours later and discover that though I had turned the back pounding machine off, I hadn't put it away, so the cord was tangled all around my neck in the bed. Nice. Stupid. I could have strangled myself. Eh, at least my back would stop hurting.

Twisted to feel so good...

Lots of energy and good mood today. Probably because of running yesterday and all the extra oxygen I took in. That's typical. A few hours after I exercise and recover, I start feeling a tad superhuman. Just the tiniest hint of soreness. Not too bad.

No, it has nothing to do (the good mood -- that would be perverse, wouldn't it?) with the ex who was trying to hit on me earlier. That is so over. Still trying to lie to me and play me. No thank you, I'd rather remain celibate.

I bought myself new shorts and a couple of tops to exercise in tonight. Tops a size smaller and shorts TWO sizes smaller. I could force my tail into an even smaller size but that doesn't mean it would be the right one and it's just asking for trouble with pornographically tight shorts and undies, especially when you're sweating.

Then I came home and weighed myself, only to discover I've gained four pounds. What the hell??? That's another three pounds in two days!!! See, I told you I'm metabolically screwed.

Definitely must run tomorrow, and at a cooler time of day. Maybe this time I'll try the cross-country trail instead of the elementary school paved path.

I didn't see much of anything to help me at the local sporting goods (clothes and shoes) store. Also got snubbed by the quartet of 20 something girls working there and chattering together. Gee, I hope you don't work on commission, because now I really won't shop there. The people at the other chain an hour away were VERY helpful and had more interesting stuff. They had running bras IN MY SIZE (36dd), camping stuff, and I totally squee over camping. Love camping! Never get to go though. *sigh**

Must sleep now. Nite! :)

Sunday, May 6, 2012

1st Training Run Complete

Now I'm sitting here waiting on the sweat to stop oozing out of my pores, then ill have a shower. Yeah, oozing. Thick, sticky sweat. Eww.

For an "easy" run, I sure don't feel like I did very well. On the other hand, it is 90 degrees out there. I may have to stick to evening runs after all. I felt like vomiting halfway through.

I did a drive through of my neighborhood and discovered a lot of sidewalks in disrepair. It's a shame that out town lets the residents here know they don't care about the state of the streets in THIS neighborhood.

No, they don't have to say it -- the complete lack of repairs for the public works department's responsibilities here tells the tale. I feel lucky when they actually do pick up garbage once a week here, since I'm already paying for it trash stays strewn about covering sidewalks for weeks at a time.

How do you expect anyone to have any pride of place when you drop your end of the bargain? My property taxes go up every year without fail, yet I don't get the same city services that others in wealthy neighborhoods get. No wonder it looks like a slum. Even the city won't do their part.

I will say this about the run: I feel beaten. I feel like I didn't conquer this base run. I hope I get better soon. This is embarrassing. :). But my face is nicely flushed, so I guess that's a good sign.

Adam Ant Acting Roles :D

All comments aside about the crummy roles he got and what you think of the acting he was limited to (I say he was great at it, but he really never got much of an opportunity to flex his muscles), here are a few places you can see his acting, as well as my complimentary thoughts on his work.

You know I'm not going to slam HIM, right? No matter what you think? He was fine. Well, he's still damn fine, just no on-screen acting anymore. On-stage acting, oh yeah. Lol

I do not presume to know the man, so though I'm calling him by his first name, you have to understand that saying Mr. Ant just doesn't work for me. I laugh at the thought. More like silly giggling. I'm sorry. I just can't go there. Lol

So don't get the impression I'm one of those stalker types who would accost him at a show pretending we know each other. Eek.

I've had two stalkers in my own life. Mine weren't that psycho, and I managed to stop them. But they were suffocating and creepy. I can see how either of them getting any more personal would drive me over the edge. The recent one was pushing me slowly but surely toward it, and I felt like a prisoner in my own home.

I believe that's when my agoraphobia kicked me in the head and started the almost-hostile takeover of my life. Fear of seeing the man on his several-times-daily slow walk past my house, stopping and staring, while his dog defecated in my yard and he didn't even bother cleaning it up. Sending me emails.

Commenting on 60 of my Facebook photos in under 45 minutes. Just random comments to show that he had been there. Becoming Facebook friends with my family so he could STILL keep spying on me online. Stopping by my house and asking me to give him my personal information so he could register me to vote for him.

Telling me about how he used to stalk my grandmother and my father too. Yeah, he has priors for stalking. eww. I get it about stalkers messing up your well-being. I am not one of those.

I'm afraid to post the YouTube links for fear the videos may get taken down, so be gentle. I still want to see them. :)

Tales From the Crypt "Maniac at Large". Aww. Wearing his glasses! (YouTube)

(Maybe they're his? Fellow myopics notice things like the refraction through the glasses at the side of his face. Pretty sure costume glasses don't bother with anything other than clear lenses. His look like they are for real. ) I feel your pain, Adam, I do. I'm absolutely horrified to be seen wearing my own glasses. Plus, they give me migraines. Good excuse to stay with my contacts.

Spellcaster (Netflix) Oh, what a cheesy movie. Adam played his part just fine. They just didn't allow him enough screen time to develop any menace for his character. I fast forward through the movie to the shots of his hands and then in to the only full scenes of him toward the end. So sue me. I'm still a silly schoolgirl in my heart.

Amazing Stories (Netflix) - "Such Interesting Neighbors" He was one of the weird neighbors. Awesome costuming. Not a lot to be done in an under-30 minute episode, but he made the part believable and touching.

Nomads (Netflix) - I watched this Pierce Brosnan movie all the way through, aware they had cut several scenes Adam was in.

The movie annoyed me. It felt... Disjointed and panicky, though that was probably the point. Second time I watched it, I fast forwarded again to Adam's parts. (Oh that sounds wrong!) Note: He really did get bashed in the head and was really bleeding. It was a rubber prop with a steel bar inside, and the metal tore loose from the sheathing. He played the creepy guy well. Had me riveted. :D I wanted more.

Love Bites / The Reluctant Vampire - currently only on iTunes. But who knows for how long? I bought it. Lol. And I'm taking it to Italy on my iPhone.

Vampires, Adam Ant... Well, that's me all over, so naturally, I had to absorb it. Yeah, total squee situation. I'm still a silly girl somewhere in here.

He did a great job in this movie. Hey, I'd let him bite me whenever he wanted. Lol I'd call that "adorable menace". This is a man who has always known how to work his facial expressions. ;). Fortunately, he got the close ups in this movie to actually show them. He's a great heartbroken vampire. :). And wait till you see him turn into a bat!

I'll update as I see more of his acting. It wasn't until recently that I was able to even find any of his acting to watch. I'd been looking for any recording of Love Bites ever since I heard he was making the movie. 1993, I believe that was. * sigh*

I've always loved the song "Mirror Man" by Human League. I think I put together a storyline for the video in my own head. Something rather tragic, naturally. Last week I read that the song was about Adam Ant and all the press crap he has had to put up with. I think that's absolutely awesome. :)

I guess I'm quite the late bloomer at a lot of things in my life. It's a good thing I don't really look my age. Yet.

Running Guilt 2

When I started going to the gym last year, I worried that people would laugh because I was so out of shape. I needn't have worried. Lol. Only one person ever spoke to me or notice that I was there, and she was the manager. To everyone else in the gym, I was completely invisible. I still am, but now I'm embarrassed once again because of my hiatus. Argh.

The sad thing is that I have a 24 hour key to the gym. :). I am so pathetic. I might need to start going late at night if I'm having trouble sleeping. I figure that if I'm already having insomnia, exercise won't be likely to keep me awake. Lol. Already there.

Having no clue about training, as I've admitted before, I believe I was weightlifting too much. Maybe I should do an every-other-day routine with the in-between days being running. I noticed that I built muscle mass when I wanted to slim down. I can go slim. My bone structure is meant to support a slim person -- except for my hips, which were obviously meant to have several babies with no problems -- sorry I ruined the master plan to repopulate the place with mini-me's.) Perhaps that's for the best. Maybe the world is getting more stupid, and me adding smart children to it goes against the master plan.

My boss says that he runs when he has a lot on his mind and that's his de-stressing activity. Okay, I need that. It wouldn't hurt me to have some place in my head to go when the old fight or flight response smacks me upside my head. And I would love to feel invisible enough to run in my own neighborhood. (They really need to turn the old industrial dump on my block into a park...). I suppose I could run until the sidewalk ends in my run down old 'hood.

Seriously, that one pound I've regained has me worried. Feels like it is chasing me. I have to completely overhaul my eating habits. Start eating meals again, just a different kind. Eat on a schedule. Plan. What a hassle. I'm spoiled by having to answer to nobody. But it is my absolute privilege as a single woman, is it not? If you never do anything for me, don't you dare presume to put yourself in a dominant position over me. Take that as you will. There has to be a trade-off. Because I say so. Yeah.

I'm pretty sure that finishing races will have to be its own reward because I will never be one of the first finishers in my age group at this point. There's too much competition and I'm just too slow for now. However... I'm looking at those half-marathons in lovely locations and wishing I could run one of the themed races in some place like Disney World. :D. I am so childish. Lol

Maybe that should be a goal -- get myself to an appropriately competitive level and then I can run in one of the nice locations, despite the travel costs. Hmm. But first... Master the 5K.

Train for 5k.
Finish 5k again - already survived it. Lol
Improve time on 5K
Start training for 10k
Improve 10 k time
Run half marathon
Run marathon.
Cross it off bucket list and keep going. Lol. Yeah, this will take at least two more years. And I have the personal time to do it.

I'm not sure how this will affect my introverted nature. Maybe it will help. Maybe I'll retreat even further from the world. Who knows. Who cares? Nobody is exactly missing me out there. Lol

Running guilt

I was thinking about how strange it is for me to want to run after it gets dark. Am I hiding or just enjoying the beauty of the night with the glare of the sun out of the picture? Always been a night owl.

I have been lazy the last few months. After my first 5k I got sick and found every excuse not to exercise. Truly, though, depression messes with me and makes my sleep cycles go awry. I sleep all afternoon and evening after work and then it's too late to do anything. I'm not a morning person, though an hour ago I set my alarm for 5:30 hoping I'll get my lazy butt up and go for a light run. Argh, where is the motivation I need to change my life? I want to do this, but I'm clueless about how to do it right.

At the end is last June I started exercising at the gym three hours a day. I'm not kidding. I was exhausted and the sheer amount of calories I was burning should have lost many pounds at my weight.

But nothing happened. I lost and regained the same three pounds for six freaking months while I killed myself daily. I'll be the first to admit I'm clueless another a proper training and weight loss program, though my endocrinologist said I should have lost something with that much activity. It finally took phentermine, but that stopped working a few months ago. I I am down 25 pounds from my starting weight, and that's still about 4" pounds from where I'd like to be. If I get close to my goal, I'll say how much I actually weighed to start. Ick. I really don't look that big, but I am heavy and I feel like it. I'd rather feel light, lean and fit. That's a way off, but I'm still shocked when I put on last summer's shorts and they hang off me.

On the other hand, I got in the scale yesterday, and it showed that I've gained one pound back. Oh heck NO!

As I was planning this post in my head about half an hour ago, castigating myself for not taking an old friend up on his offer to run with me, he offered again. Wow. That was great timing. Lol. He is undoubtedly going to hold my feet to the fire so I'd better get my tail back in gear.

(She reminds herself that it's good for her and she wanted motivation, after all. LOL.!)

Exercise does help fight depression (I've known that for years now) and I know that my depression got much worse when I stopped exercising. I also remember feeling sort of superhuman and even a little taller each day when I came home from exercising.

I subscribed to Runner's World a few months ago to answer some of my beginner's questions. So I suppose it's time to add practice to my studying. Stop procrastinating. Get my training going before I have blistering heat as a lame excuse as well.

A friend ran a 5 k Friday night. And another 5k Saturday morning. She has been training.... If she can do it, I'm pretty sure I can. And I did say I wanted to cut 2 minutes off my time by midsummer, after all. (That's not a difficult goal -- my time on the first 5k was 45:12. Yeah. Shut up. :P My goal was to SURVIVE!!!)

Hey, if anybody else wants to comment some encouragement, I'm all ears. What do I do here, set myself up with some goals and rewards?

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Mayan Hammocks

I loved the Mayan hammock I used to have. I've fallen asleep in it many times.

And if I ever find out who stole mine from my backyard, I'm gonna beat the snot outta them. I bet they tangled it all up just taking it down because there are a million little strings, and you have to tie them off at intervals before taking it down.

It was difficult to make my family understand my insistence upon tying it up for storage, but with the first nasty snarls, they were believers.

My second one is at the lake house. But I didn't want to drive two hours to get it. I bought a third one in Mexico In a cruise a few years ago. (Really, cruises are a lot cheaper than you think.) The seller assured me it was a large one. It was large enough to hold a small child, with thick and unyielding strings. I don't fit in it myself, and I'm short. Gasping for breath is not relaxing.

Well, my sister heard my complaint and on her honeymoon last fall, she bought me another one for Christmas, this time with thick unyielding nylon strings. Honestly, she didn't know and she was trying to make me happy It is just as comfortable as the white one I bought there. I can't lie in either of them without being crushed. I wonder if I can convert them to chairs?

I went on eBay a few minutes ago and just ordered another family sized hammock. This one holds 1-4 people and about 550 pounds. That's the difference, along with thousands of tiny cotton strings that give the whole rig flexibility. Yes, intended for cuddling with a sweetie, but I haven't had one in.... Geez, how many years has it been? Never mind. That's depressing and I don't truly warrant such bad luck with men. *sigh*

For good measure, I ordered a metal stand. I'm tired of hanging it under the porch. Last time, David had to hang the new one for me because I was just too darn short. And then it ended up being unpleasant to sit in, after all was said and done. But thanks anyway, dude. Always nice to have a tall man around. Lol

I admitted that I've always had a thing for men who are taller than me... And yes, he got the joke. ;). Because its a rare man who ISN'T taller than me. Lol. I'm only 5'5".

Yep. It makes me feel rather helpless and frightened at times. Yep, I know that's ridiculous because I could always smash the kneecaps and bite the ankles of any tall men menacing me.

Hopefully I won't be disappointed with my eBay purchase, and the seller won't be a deadbeat. If all is as promised, it means I'll be outside reading and relaxing and blogging instead of inside in my cold house, sleeping the afternoons and evenings away in my bed.

Plus - this will give me a spare bed for my house. :). Seriously! Just the way they use them in ole Mexico.

Fruit Salad Confession

Sending lemons for your kid's fruit salad contribution at girl scouts just isn't funny to anyone. It happened to me and the scout leader was nasty to me about it, like I was allowed to *choose* a fruit to take with me. Are you kidding? I wasn't allowed to request items in the grocery shopping. It was rare that I was allowed to go.

I suppose the theme for that week's girl scout meeting had something to do with each person making a small contribution to a wonderful whole... Uh, fruit salad. Each girl was to bring a fruit -- apple, orange, bunch of grapes, banana, raisins. I asked my stepmother for an appropriate fruit and I was given... A lemon. And told to shut up about it, because those snotty women would take it or nothing at all. (True, our meetings were in the poshest part of town in the troop leader's mega-wealthy home. I always felt like either Oliver Twist or maybe the country mouse when I had to go there. It was a lovely mansion... And it was scary. The leader was a snobby society lady who wouldn't have been involved if her daughter wasn't in girl scouts. )

I was set up and already scared about it. Told to take my lemon and go away, I hid, humiliated, with my stupid fruit while we were watching movies of the girl scout camp they all were going to and I wasn't going to ever be allowed to attend. I decided to just suck the juice out of it, rather than catch hell for bringing it back home, scorned.

Side note: as a adult and a good cook now, I understand the usefulness of a lemon in a fruit salad. I wouldn't cut it up and add it to the rest of the fruit as I was told to do, but I do know when you squeeze lemon juice over the fruit salad and mix it up, the fruit won't turn brown before serving time.

So sitting in front of the projector screen in the dark, I took out my pocket knife (even then I liked carving things) and sunk it into the lemon. Without looking. The knife went through the lemon and into the side of my thumb. Now add copious amounts of fresh lemon juice to the equation !

I wanted to scream, but I didn't want even more ridicule and consternation from the scout leader over stupid 8 year olds with knives, so I calmly closed the knife, tucked my gashed thumb into my palm, and went upstairs to the bathroom. Heck no, I wasn't going to lower myself to ask for a band-aid. It took a lot of guts for me to put my thumb under the running water and wash the lemon juice out, but I did it and then squeezed it with toilet paper wrapped around it for a few minutes until the bleeding slowed.

I went home with my thumb wrapped in toilet paper, hidden and squeezed into my palm, and no one was the wiser. I still have the scar and a grudge against all the adults who either humiliated me or made me afraid to ask for help that day too, darn it. It really needed stitches, but I used the band-aid-and-hide-your-thumb-until-it-heals method of first aid.