August 31, 2010

My 'WILSON' Is A Razor

Remember when Tom Hanks befriended a volleyball in the movie Castaway?

He named it Wilson.
Or he just called it by the name tattooed on its body.

Well, I found my ' Wilson' while in the shower the other day.
My daughter had brought her over.

She's a razor.

She is pink.
Her name is Schick, (pronounced ~ Sheeck~) (with whatever exotic accent you want to add.)

She has a sleek body,
And she's one of the Quattros.
(They are a well known family in the mans world of grooming.)

I looked up,
And there she was.

Just smiling at me!
 "I like her because she smiles at me and means it."  ~Anonymous

Like Tom and Wilson,  we have close and heart-felt conversations.
She brings closeness, I bring the body and soul.

We talk about things like oatmeal.
Not referring to what I had for breakfast,
But to describe body parts.

We talk about all I have to do for the day,
And how sometimes I'm not sure I will be able to do it all.

We talk about the things I am avoiding.
I change the subject and ask her if she's feeling a little dull and wants a replacement.
(I ask her if she's ever gone to Denial.)

And then there are times when we don't talk at all.
I know she is there and available if needed,
But she never pressures.
She always lets me initiate the conversations.

I like this new acquaintance.

Therapy in the shower.

I can say this,
She is razor sharp!

"Someone to tell it to is one of the fundamental needs of human beings."  ~Miles Franklin

P.S. My daughter was disturbed by this discovery.
She said I have way too much time on my hands!?
(But I would bet, that she can't take a shower now without seeing that smile!)

August 27, 2010

And They Called It Puppy Love...

Maybe this is not exactly what Donny Osmond meant..........

                                         Isn't she just the cutest thing?!  

She belongs to my daughters' roommate.

And YES, she does have puppy breath!

"Whoever said you can't buy happiness forgot little puppies."~ Gene Hill

 "There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face."~ Ben Williams

August 23, 2010

A Personalized Touch: Stories Shared From Others' Hearts


 Q.  If you could go back in time and write a letter to your younger self...what would you say?

A.  If I could "send a letter to me" as Brad Paisley sings in his country song, I would tell myself a basic thing:  You are wonderful and perfect JUST THE WAY YOU ARE.
Don't ever try to be anything else than what you are right now.

Q.  Share an experience where you learned what true love is. 

A.  Learning what true love is has been a very gradual "awareness" and I have come (slowly) to realize that true love is when you put another person's well-being above your own.

Q.  Share an experience when you learned something about yourself you didn't know- like who you really are, what you are made of, or an untapped gift you have.

A.  In the early 80's I was going through a "team-building experience" with my coworkers where there were rope courses and climbing walls, etc.  Suffice it to say I am not athletic and am afraid of heights.

What I learned during this experience was that others saw me as completely self-sufficient and never needing anyone-which in some ways made me appear aloof to them.

What I was actually feeling much of the time was afraid that I would be seen as less than competent if I ever needed help, and therefore was afraid to ask for it.

I had no idea that to ask for help would make me seem more human and approachable to my coworkers.

That changed me and the way I worked with people to this day,
but I still need to remind myself every now and then.

Q.  What experience happened to make you change your life for better? 

A.  My first year out of college my oldest sister was 6 months pregnant and her husband was shot and killed.  They lived in Florida.  She could not travel due to her state of mind and I ended up living with her for almost 3 months while she finished out her pregnancy and we could move her and the baby back up to Michigan to our parents' home.

She lived in an atrocious neighborhood, with a homeless shelter on the street and neighboring streets filled with teenage runaways, many that were prostituting themselves for survival.
I got a job at a drugstore nearby and witnessed daily, people on drugs, stealing or using products in the store and then running out, etc.

That was the most humbling experience and completely changed the way I looked at what I had, how I lived, and in general how blessed God has made me.

Q.  If you had to teach a workshop to inspire others what would your topic be and what message would you want to get across?

A.  One workshop I would do is to teach people how to LISTEN.  People do not really listen to each other; sometimes they don't hear the words and other times they don't hear the heart.

Another workshop would be about being kind to others, even when you are not treated kindly because people often have worse troubles and fears than you do and need love and acceptance.  Given that, everything else usually works out.

Q.  What did it take to get your attention about how important life is? 

A.  Losing my parents has hit me over the head with how short this life is and how important it is to love as much as you can and laugh often and just be aware at all times that life is precious and so are people.

Thanks Andrea!


August 20, 2010

Sometimes Your Knight In Shining Armor Is Just A Retard In Tin Foil

Granted I naively believed the name Sir Reynold Wrap meant he must be a noble man.
With a name like that how could he not be?

I remember questioning how someone who was so perfect could still be available?!
How had he flown under the radar of all the desperate-single-women-seeking-a-good-man?

I concluded it must be because no one else had been able to see his 'potential' quite the way I had.

They saw a foil dinner.
I saw a gourmet meal.

They saw reality.
I saw what I wanted and needed to see.

That, was someone who would make me feel special,
Maybe even make me BE special.
(At least that is what his words promised.)

Someone who would require some work,
But not anything that I myself could not help 'fix'.

I saw a distraction.
A good-looking one, which made it all that much easier.

Others saw red flags.
I saw my favorite color.

Shockingly (only to me), when it came time to face commitment in battle and the heat was on, 
All I found was charred remains of my foiled 'knight.'

I had wanted to blame him for not living up to what I knew he could have been.
For him showing up on his white, spay-painted, (in actuality) black-horse.
And for convincing me that the paint cans were not his.
That someone just happened to leave them at his house.
(At least that is what he said.)

But I kept coming back to the fact that I had formed the foil into a knight.
I had put my heart into it.
It had taken quite a bit of my time,
And a lot of my creativity and imagination.
Also countless trips to Denial to get all the information needed to construct him.

I had used the 'extra strong, heavy duty' type to fabricate my needs,
so recovery took even longer.

Have you ever tried to smooth out foil after it has been used?
You can never get all the wrinkles out and make it as shiny and new as it was in the beginning.
You can roll it back up and tell yourself lies, but you can never fully restore it to how it was  before you touched it,
No matter how hard you try....

What I did learn that was that I could try again.
That only I

could prevent future unnecessary torching of my heart and dreams that turned to ashes.
I could better use the facts I had previously ignored and improve my judgment.

I vowed in the future to use clear plastic wrap,
And to look for  Sir Calgon instead of Reynold if I ever wanted someone to 'take me away' again. 

"I have a history of making decisions very quickly about men. I have always fallen in love fast and without measuring risks. I have a tendency not only to see the best in everyone, but to assume that everyone is emotionally capable of reaching his highest potential. I have fallen in love more times than I care to count with the highest potential of a man, rather than with the man himself, and I have hung on to the relationship for a long time (sometimes far too long) waiting for the man to ascend to his own greatness. Many times in romance I have been a victim of my own optimism."
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love

August 18, 2010

Be Not Afraid Nor Dismayed

One of my friends, an elderly man, had to have surgery this past Monday for a broken hip.

Another friend, a woman a little older than me, started radiation treatment for breast cancer the same day.

Neither have control:

Over the doctor's performance,
How their bodies will react,
How they will feel after the procedures,
Or an exact recovery date. 

What both of them do have control over is:

Their Attitude,
Their Prayers,
Their Hope,
And their Faith. 

They exemplify a strong spirit of optimism and loving hope.

A staple that makes living in this life a little easier.
For all of us.
Thank you for your strength.

(I shared this verse as a comment on another blog but it seems fitting here too.)

"Be strong and courageous, be not afraid nor dismayed....for there be more with us than with him (illness):
With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the Lord our God to help us, and to fight our battles.  And the people rested themselves upon the words.."   

2 Chronicles 32:7-8 

August 16, 2010

The Tattoo Across My Body

In the movie, Eat, Pray and Love, Elizabeth's friend gives her some advise on whether having a baby is for her or not.

She says:
Elizabeth Gilbert
"Having a baby is like getting a tattoo on your face. You really need to be certain it's what you want before you commit."
That could not be more accurate!

With five children, I guess I am just one giant tattoo! 

August 14, 2010

Lion Tamer

The inside of my legs are so sore.

It must be from my workout yesterday.

Although I have not been going regularly,
I did not think I exerted myself that much.

It feels as though I kept a struggling lion in a head lock.
With my thighs!
For an hour and a half!

I bet Tarzan would be impressed!
Not to worry Jane.

Shirtless, tan, muscular men in a loincloth who swing from vines and who love their mothers are not my type.

(Think she'll believe me?)

"I love the body.  Flesh is so honest, and organs do not lie."  ~Terri Guillemets

August 13, 2010

A Personalized Touch: Stories Shared From Others' Hearts


 Q. What did it take to get your attention about how important life is?

A.  I think my attention was enticed by the alternative to my ideal.  I have a pretty vivid imagination and I don't like to settle.  I want the whole pie, and I want to make it too because no one else can make it as good as me!
By pie I really mean my life plan.
For awhile I was letting something else drive my life or concoct my pastries.  And the places I was going and the things I was eating were not as good as I imagined they would be.

I had to figure out what went wrong.
But it was not a matter of the wrong ingredient or a wrong turn.  It was the chef or the driver.
I needed to get in touch with an earlier version of myself that was not willing to let anyone else lead my show.

I think taking a good look at my situation helped me realize how important life is.
There are quite a few things that contributed so I will just list them in no particular order.

First, it must have been divine intervention because I am not a very good listener.

Second, it was boredom of boredom.  I wanted to see what it was like to do nothing, but I got tired of it.

Third, I was getting within short range of things I knew I didn't like and it scared me a little bit.

Fourth, it was the lack of enormous amounts of money, and crappy jobs.

Fifth, it was missing close relationships with people I cared about or would care about in the future.  And reflecting on the influence I was having on people who looked up to me.

Sixth, it was competitiveness that pushed me not to settle.

Seventh, was curiosity.  I wanted to know what else was out there, and to experience it.  Why were some other people so motivated?

Eighth, was getting away from all the pressures and outside influences in my life.

Ninth, was simply maturing with age.

Tenth, was all these things happening at once.

Thanks Robert!


August 12, 2010

Tempted By Toilet Paper

"The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it."  ~Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891

Have you ever noticed when you are vulnerable how weak you become?

How it is easier to let your guard down?

How you think of doing things that would not usually cross your mind?

And you may do things you would not otherwise do?

Well, that is what happened to me over toilet paper.

I was almost running out.
Both of my bathrooms were low.
Even the Kleenex was low.
And I was also short on money as I have been unemployed.
(Just setting the scene.)
And to top it off, there were no good sales going on either. 

You can guess what those things combined equaled...
That is right. 
Desperate actions.
Or at least thoughts of them.

I had to go out for the morning.
To a public place.
I also happened to need to use the restroom when I was there.

Right next to me, in the stall, almost touching my elbow was an extra roll of toilet paper sitting smack on top of the T.P. dispenser.
Not fastened securely behind lock and key, nope, just out in the open.
Taunting me.
Sending Angel-soft messages such as:

"It is o.k. to take me or why would I just be sitting here, where it is so easy to reach me?"
"You know, this is here for you.  Who else but you, uses up the last little roll before starting a new one worrying about salvaging the last square?  No one except you.  So take it."
"You will be doing the janitor a favor."
"It'll go to waste if you don't."
"Your purse is big enough.  It will fit.  Just don't look for change in the bottom of your purse until you get home."
"You pay taxes, this is under a dollars worth."

Do you see how bold and daring you can get when under pressure?

Did I mention this was at a police station?
I kid you not, it was.

Desperate moments call for desperate measures.
Isn't that how the saying goes?

Well, I didn't take the roll after all.  There was a policewoman in the stall next to me.
I could tell by her shiny shoes,
And her full uniform as she washed her hands next to me with her gun intact.

I was relieved I hadn't succumbed as I am sure now that it was a sting operation strategically set up to tempt me into recklessness.
Can't you just see my mug shot on the package of Charmin with the headline:
'Don't squeeze the Charmin! (into your purse!)'?

So I marched myself to Wal-Mart and did the next best thing.
I lied about an ad match.

People look at you knowingly, as you walk out of the store hugging a child-size pack of  Ultra strong, diamond weave, durable and long lasting T.P.

What they didn't know was how close I had been to becoming a criminal all in the name of being dependably clean (the packages' words not mine.)

"All men are tempted.  There is no man that lives that can't be broken down, provided it is the right temptation, put in the right spot."  ~Henry Ward Beecher, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit, 1887


August 10, 2010

Today Therapy Kicked My Butt

My therapist refused to see me as long as I was still on vacation ( in Denial.)

So I had to come home.

(Don't ever believe what they say about vacations being rejuvenating.)

So now I am back in my life and I went to therapy.
I guess you could say it is physical therapy.

I am worn out!

I feel like I just ran five miles.

Well, actually that is not true.

I have never run five miles in my life, so I don't really know what that even feels like.
But if I did ever run five miles, I am sure this is what it would feel like!

I am going to request that a scale be placed outside the office.
I have had to have lost weight.
Water weighs something right?
How can you cry so much that you use up the whole box of Puffs (appropriate name for my eyes and nose) and not lose weight?
A gallon is what?... 33 pounds?

I came home and laid vertically on my bed until I passed out. (Who needs alcohol?)
(Well it was more in the shape of a question mark.)
Then I ate the whole box of theater size Junior Mints.

Sometimes there are rewards for purging.

"Those who do not know how to weep with their whole heart don't know how to laugh either."  ~Golda Meir

August 7, 2010

Sometimes I Am Nice, Sometimes I Am Stupid

Those are the words that came out of the mouth of a three year old girl I was nannying for.

She said it so matter-of-fact.
Just as she might say, "Sometimes I like red and sometimes I like blue." 

There was no sense of uneasiness or degradation.
Just a statement of what she thought.

Perhaps she was just repeating words, not fully understanding, but in that moment she was wise beyond her years.

She was teaching by example.

I too can sometimes be nice and sometimes I can do stupid things.

But unlike her I handle it differently.

Usually if I do something nice I do not acknowledge it. 
I am not talking in a prideful way, but I do not recognize it at all.
I downplay it, as,"Oh, it was nothing".
And I would not find myself using the word 'nice' to describe myself.
It would seem too self-centered, too selfish.

But is it really?
Why is it so hard to state a fact and  just leave it at that?

And sometimes I do do stupid things.
Defined as: foolish; senseless.
And boy do I acknowledge that.
Every bit of it.
I might even bring up past events just in case I may have any doubts or have forgotten.
It would seem too self-centered, too selfish not to.

But is it really?
Why is it so hard to state a fact and  just leave it at that?

Sometimes I am learned and sometimes I am still learning.

"The teacher who is indeed wise does not bid you to enter the house of his wisdom but rather leads you to the threshold of your mind."  ~Kahlil Gibran

"Too many people overvalue what they are not and undervalue what they are."  ~Malcolm S. Forbes


August 3, 2010

Talk About Naive....!

Last summer, when I had major surgery a friend of mine had given me a gift certificate for a foot massage.
I just decided to use it today. 

It is called HEAVENS FOOTSTEPS (or something to do with feet...)
En-route, I am talking to another friend telling her my destination, when she says, "Oooh a massssagggjuh?"
I retort," No.  Not that kind.
I don't like strangers to touch me.
Besides this will just be my feet...although I don't really know, how much you can do with feet for a whole hour?
But that is what the certificate says."
(My first experience as you can tell.) 

The poster on the window reassures me.                                                     (Sorry about the glare)

When I arrive, I walk in to see reclining looking chairs with foot rests and am relieved I was right.

That is, until the masseuse says to follow him into a darkened room with two chiropractor-like tables.
Boy was I wrong!
After placing my items in a basket (so much for the book I brought to read), he directs me to lay face down on the table.
If I wasn't tense and in need of relaxation before, I sure am now!

Being in my favorite state, Denial, I am thinking, this is a strange way to do a foot massage.
But he is the expert right?

I put my face on these Bounty Quicker-picker-uppers as directed and start to question things such as:
What have I agreed to?
Why did I bother even putting make-up on this morning?
Did I feed the dog before I left?
Did my friend trick me into this?
Thinking it would be a nice gesture? 
Shouldn't I be questioning what is about to happen to me?
Did I notice an exit sign or fire alarm?
Is my cell phone within reach?
Will the absorbency of the towels make me look like I do when I first wake up:
Like all the life and beauty got sucked out of me by the linenets? (Those are age-promoting insects  who occupy your bed when you sleep.)
How am I supposed to breathe?
My family doesn't even know I am here.
What if I don't come out alive?
Am I supposed to keep my eyes open or shut?
Do I really even have a choice?
They are stuck in squint mode.

Of course, it isn't for my feet.
Not right then anyway...

He holds back nothing as he starts to pinch my back.
Then he places his elbow in my lower back and pushes down on it with the opposite hand and then forcibly shoves it all the way up to my neck.
I am wondering if at the bottom of the certificate I missed, 'Includes the WWF treatment'?

New thoughts come to me as he continues:
This is what people say is relaxing?
I am about to cry.
Is this why I need absorbency?
Is the music to muffle my cries?
What is he doing now?
Exorcising all those cottage cheese munchkins out?
Is it really necessary to push so hard?
Am I truly going to feel much better when he is all done?

I am feeling like my perpetrator is a mix between an over-enthusiastic chiropractor (which I've never been to) and a Big-Time wrestler/cage fighter from the Orient.
Now I know that was not in the fine print (unless it was in another language.)

I learn quickly that "Eess ocay?" means I am about to be tortured.
At first it is ocay but once I give the go-ahead that immediately changes.
He is grinding his fists and elbows and head into my back as if it is my fault that his wife wasn't in a good mood this morning.

Then he takes my hand.
A nice gesture until he puts it behind my back and bends it up and starts pushing on that too.
I am wishing that I had learned the Vietnamese word for Uncle before I went in.
But I am not sure I would of even been able to use it.
The sign on the front desk upon entering flashes through my head.
It had read: NO TALKING
Is this why?

Thoughts of the dentist come back to me:
The time when I couldn't tell him the Novocaine had worn off because I could not get the words out clearly.
Or is that what the towels are for?
To muffle my pleas for help?  

My face is even being stuffed into the holder.
He seems irritated with my hair as it keeps getting in the way even though it is pinned up.
When it is all over and I get up,
I look like I have just been tumbling in  bed with someone.
A total stranger!
My hair is tousled and I have those famous,' after- 40- pillow-wrinkles' (well, more the quilted look) imprinted on my not-so-youthful-skin.

I had kept my clothes on and still got intimate with a total stranger.
Not on my bucket list.
This was no longer Heavenly. 

Only then am I invited to sit on one of  the recliners and handed my book.
Ironically enough it is entitled The Last Day of My Life by Jim Moret
Fitting, seeing what I have just gone through.

It feels like I need to regroup and act innocent.
As if I had not just come out of a dark room (in mid-morning) with a man whose name I don't even know!
No wonder the innocent, "who me?" foot massage part comes last.
So I have time to redeem myself.

So I am now thinking I can finally relax.
No guilt or uncertainty here.
Only my feet will be touched.
And maybe to my knees.

Another masseur comes out.
I am sure that their foreign communication is about how elephant-hide-like my feet are.
Maybe they are saying, "She could have used the whole hour and more just on her feet!
We do not get paid enough to do this!"
"Don't worry I have been making her pay..." 
Boy has he!

I try to read, but it is difficult with my Maybelline Intense XXL, volume+length mascara all clumped together.
Never intending beforehand to cry at my relaxation outing, I am grateful it is waterproof after all.
The commercials don't show what happens to your lashes when your face is stuffed into a little leather pocket holder that is covered in paper towels.
So much for longer, thicker looking lashes.
They feel more like squashed tarantula legs!

After a brief soaking in a cute bamboo tub (just my feet, not me),
Which is not nearly long enough,
(now there are 3 of these non-verbal conspirators)
comes the good part.

Or at least I think so.
He uses his thumb on my foot in much the same way he had his elbow on my back.
To push almost all the way through  until it is protruding to the other part of my body.
He is smiling all the while of course, with soothing oriental tunes playing softly in the background.

I try to concentrate on my book but he stops and blows on my foot.
What is he doing now? 
Is this some ancient ritual?
Then he very carefully scrapes something off.
I just took a shower this morning!
A couple of times he puts his head down and sits very still.
I am not sure if he has fallen asleep, is overcome with fumes ruminating from my pedis,
or praying for either it to end soon or blessing my irksome feet.

The finale is the best.
Or the worst.
He just starts hitting me.
All over.
(I guess I hadn't paid enough)
On my arms, my legs, my feet.
No chance for meditation before work this morning?!?
Starbucks line too long?

Then comes the arm stretch. 
Like I am Gumby or worse, one of those sticky, stretchable fifty-cent toys you buy from those machines that are at the grocery store entrance.
He pulls each arm over my head only stopping because he hits the store front window.
I can not even begin to guess what will happen next.
Nor do I want to.
It is like one of those adventure-seeking experiences without leaving the city!
Or my chair!

Now the embarrassing part.
(I know, as if the other wasn't already...)
He starts to pull my arm again, but this time in front of me and (no, I don't 'fluff').
I just keep reading.
After an hour of this I have accepted torture as a loving gesture from my new friend.
He pulls a few more times and without looking up from my book, I hold out the opposite arm.
Nothing happens.
The quiet before the storm my mind warns.

But it doesn't come,
I finally stop reading long enough to look up,
And he says, "Ocay u gat up noww."
I guess that means we are done?
Just when I was settling in...

He hands me a cup of water upon departing.
I guess I provide the ibuprofen.

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