Tuesday Stuff

Random Tuesday: The Guilt Will Kill Me

randomtuesday

1 Kevin said the coolest thing to Dude over the weekend …

For those just catching up, we all went up to St. Louis this past weekend to watch Jazz’s band perform in the Band of America competition. After the preliminaries were over (our kids didn’t make finals *sad face*), me, Kevin and Dude went to Steak ‘N Shake to have some dinner.

I really enjoy having dinner one-on-one with the boys. We learn so much about them! Their personalities really open up and we see a side of them we don’t see very often. It’s really …. awesome (I was going to say, strange, but strange sounds so negative).

While we were eating, Kevin asked Dude to tell us about his Japanese presentation. He’s taking Japanese II this semester, if you didn’t know that. And he’s really enjoying it. He has a certain fascination with the Japanese culture. We (actually Kevin), tried to persuade Dude that Spanish would probably the most logical choice as far as languages go because HELLO! In case you haven’t heard? Spanish will soon be America’s primary language.

Anyway, Dude took Spanish in 8th grade and HATED it. As a result, he flunked the class. However, not so with his Japanese classes. Since he’s interested in them, he’s done really well in them.

So, this test. He stayed up quite late the night before working on it. When it comes right down to it, Dude has a deep desire to do well in school. I think it’s mainly because he sees how well Jazz does in band and he feels like his schoolwork is an area he can shine in. And he does. He’s a pretty good student. We haven’t really had to worry about Dude’s grades too much at this point.

Actually wait, Kevin didn’t ask him how he did on his presentation, Dude freely offered the information. I remember thinking, “Wow! Where did that come from and can we have more of it, please?”

He straightened in his seat, looked us square in the eye and said, “Mom, dad, I got an A on my Japanese presentation.”

*blinkblink* We were ecstatic! Part of that presentation was oral, so Kevin asked him to speak a little Japanese to us. Dude blushed a bit, but he did and he was great! He acted very proud of himself, as he should! Japanese is one of the hardest languages to learn!

We showered him with praise and he looked very pleased. It really warmed my heart because it was a really good parenting moment. Our whole table glowed with warmth and happiness – I’m sure our auras were spectacular. (If I believed in that sort of thing, which I don’t, but it’s fun to imagine).

Dude has gotten so much more relaxed about school. And I’m sure it’s because I’ve gotten so much more relaxed about school. I don’t hover anymore. I don’t breathe down his neck anymore and though we still have rules and he’s still expected to obey those rules, we’ve adjusted the rules a bit given his age and responsibility level.

I know he’s feeling more mature and responsible because today, after school? He told me that he failed his math test. I was shocked because he got a B on his last test. When I (calmly) asked him what happened, he told me that there was a section he wasn’t sure about and that was the section that did him in.

And a large portion of the rest of the class, too.

But his teacher is allowing the students to re-take one test per quarter and this is the test he plans on taking again. I will drop him off at 7:30 in the morning so he can take it before school. He’s volunteering to do this. I’m not making him, nor did I “suggest” he do this. It’s all him. This is especially impressive because Wednesdays are late day – which means the boys don’t have to report to class until 8:35 as opposed to 7:50. So he’s sacrificing his late morning to do the responsible thing.

I’m pretty sure my heart is close to bursting for this kid. πŸ˜€

Oh, one more thing about the Steak ‘N Shake dinner – Kevin told Dude, when Dude said he was too embarrassed to say something in Japanese:

“Dude, don’t you understand that you’re the most important thing to us? We’re VERY interested in everything you do. So come on, say something in Japanese.”

I wish you guys could have seen Dude’s face light up. That was exactly what he needed to hear and I think its doubly cool that Kevin said it and not me. Kevin is the best dad, he really is. He’s never afraid to tell the boys he loves them and he always puts them ahead of his own needs/wants.


2 Kevin and I had our meeting with the orthodontist (Dr. B) yesterday.

We talked, at length, about Jazz’s teeth as well as examined numerous pictures and an actual mold of his mouth. Jazz has several teeth that are twisted, meaning the fronts of his teeth are sideways instead of facing the front, like they’re supposed to. He also has some teeth that are not positioned correctly because his permanent teeth came in in FRONT of his baby teeth before the baby teeth came out.

In addition, his top and bottom teeth stick way out (think primate – that’s a terrible way to put it, but it’s an apt description), so those need to be pushed in and aligned as well.

Dr. B wants to extract his first bicuspids (top and bottom) in order to make some wiggle room to straighten out his teeth. He explained, at length, why he felt this was necessary. Though I understand where Dr. B is coming from, Kevin and I really feel like pulling those teeth are not necessary. Though Jazz does have some crowding, he still needs to lose two baby bicuspids and when those permanent bicuspids grow in, they will be smaller than the babys thereby allowing a little more room, but not much.

Also, Kevin wonders how much Jazz’s jaw will grow as he matures. He’s assuming that it will grow, right along with Jazz, so again, we just don’t feel like pulling those teeth are a viable option at this time.

So, we’re vetoing that route. Dr. B is cool with that and we’ll proceed with those teeth and see how it looks in about 18 months.

We looked at other patients who had their first bicuspids removed and quite honestly? Their profiles looked a little sunken in to us and we don’t want to mess with Jazz’s profile too much – he is who he is.

Besides, if Dr. B could manipulate Dude’s mouth without pulling teeth (and that kid had MAJOR crowding), then I’m quite confident he can do the same for Jazz who has a lot more room than Dude did!

I take Jazz back to get some more molds made October 28th – he’s get his spacers then. And on November 4th, I will take Jazz out of school and he’ll get his braces put on.

We’ve already discussed and have made arrangements with his band teacher for him not to return to school that day. I’m quite certain he will not feel like going back to school after getting them put on.

Jazz is not happy about this – at all. In fact, he wrote on his Facebook status:

Alright, I have grim news… November 4th is going to be a life changing day for me. November 4th is when I get my braces. So expect me to not smile after November 4th… :/

That sort of broke my heart, but honestly folks, Kevin and I talked at length about this, and we talked to Dr. B about this and he really does need help straightening his teeth out. He’s scheduled to have them on anywhere from 30 to 36 months depending on how easy his teeth are to manipulate. This, in essence, means he’ll have them on the rest of his high school years.

Yes, not happy at all. 😦

But you know, we’re thinking ahead here. Who wants to kiss a mouth full of bad teeth?

I’m just sayin’.


3 We’ve decided not to go to the Greater St. Louis Marching Band Festival this weekend.

Jazz brought the schedule home and oh my gosh, the kids won’t get home until 2:30 in the morning!!!

ACK!!

There is no way I want to drive home at three in the morning, stressed and worried we won’t make it back into town before Jazz does. No way. I get sleepy driving up in broad daylight, I KNOW I won’t stay awake driving in the dead of night.

I suggested to Jazz that we could just pick him up after the competition, spend the night in a hotel and drive back home on Sunday, but he really wants to ride the bus with his buddies and honestly, I can’t deny the kid this small enjoyment – he’s earned it.

So, we’re not going. BUT, I ordered a DVD in advance so at least we’ll get to watch how they did as well as their competitors in the comfort of our home and munching on popcorn. πŸ™‚

I HOPE the kids do better this week. It would be so cool if they could end the season with a few more trophies (remember they won 4th at Valhalla).

They have one more competition in Columbia Missouri next weekend and I’m pretty sure we won’t be going to that one, either. One, it’s nearly four hours away and two, the route up there is not NEARLY as nice as driving straight down I-44. But we’ll see. We haven’t gotten the schedule for that one yet, so … we’ll see.


4 I’m thinking I won’t go to the book sale this year.

*SIGH*

I WANT to, oh dear Lord do I want to. And I started to get into my car to go today, but then my eyes landed on the two tubs STUFFED full of books I haven’t read yet (from previous book sales) and I have a bookcase full of books I haven’t read and do I really NEED more books?

No.

But I might go to the sale tomorrow anyway. hehe

It’s a sickness, apparently.


5 Kevin spent last night crawling around in the attic. He put in recessed lighting in our kitchen and it looks really good. He also wants to put in some lights under our cabinets because it’s really dark under there, too.

We’ve been watching a ton of home design shows and getting ideas. All of these re-designs include recess lighting and they just look fabulous. So, Kevin took the bull by the horns and put in our lights. It already makes the kitchen look ten times better.

Or maybe that’s just because we CAN see the kitchen now. πŸ™‚

We’re slowly, but surely, working on remodeling the kitchen. Kevin is going to resurface the cabinets (WAY cheaper than replacing them), possibly resurface the countertops (though we’ll see about that), new appliances and of course, fresh paint and new tile. We’d like to have all of this done by next Thanksgiving, when it’s our turn to host Thanksgiving dinner again. We use Thanksgiving dinners as our milestone because it motivates us to get stuff done and gives us a deadline to work toward.

I’m very lucky to be married to such a handy man. πŸ™‚

random stuff, Tuesday Stuff

Random Tuesday: Look at Me, I’m the Sahara Desert

randomtuesday

1 Ugh. I have so much to talk about I don’t know where to start.

So, I’ll start where I always start – ME. Because it’s all about ME, don’t cha know. πŸ˜‰

I’m dry. As in Sahara desert dry. My blog is suffering, big time. I used to have oodles of ideas to write about …. wait, I still have oodles of ideas to write about, but now? I click on New Post and just stare at the stark whiteness. The blinking cursor mesmerizes me. My fingers ache from holding position, just over the keyboard, and just when I’m about to FORCE myself to write something, the sound of a fresh new email dings in the background and I’m eagerly clicking out of the window to tend to my distraction.

I just CAN’T seem to make myself write anything. Even now, it’s taken me about 30 minutes to write these 150 words.

I feel so lackluster. Just …. MEH.

I know what’s wrong with me. I haven’t been reading. As in, AT ALL. I’ve been spending my time either working (which I should be *ahem*), working out, or goofing off online. And by that I mean, wasting an insane amount of time on Twitter, reading blogs, or watching mind-numbing Youtube videos.

Youtube? Is a SERIOUS time suck.

Looking back at my book page – I haven’t read anything since August 8th. WTH?! That’s unacceptable!! The year is nearly over and I’ve read a grand total of 15 books?! NOT COOL! I need to get back to it. I will get back to it. I have to. Because reading is the ying to my yang. It’s the life in my life force. I need to read. I must read.

And let’s not forget that the Fall library book sale is coming up the end of October. I skipped the Spring sale because I seriously have too many books I haven’t read yet but damn it! I’m NOT skipping this sale. The world would cease to exist if I managed to not go to at least ONE book sale per year.

So. Keep an eye on my sidebar over there. And if you don’t see the books change under the “I’m Currently Reading” section, seriously, contact me and chew me a new a-hole.

I feel like I’m fading from reality. I must get back into reading and get back into the world of make believe.

(Yes, I realize that didn’t make sense. Hush).


2 Speaking of books …

I’ve been toying with this idea, on and off, for the past month. What do you all think about doing a book swap? I have no idea how it might work and it’ll probably be rough around the edges until we’ve worked all the kinks out, but I have soooo many books that I MUST get rid of. Oh sure, I could, and DO, use Bookmooch. And I love Bookmooch. But I think I’d prefer to give my books away to someone I KNOW.

As in, you all.

Well, I don’t KNOW you, but you KNOW what I mean, right?

Anyway, let’s give it a try and see how it works. I’m working details out now, so if you have a few books you’d like to swap with someone and you’d like to play along, check back Thursday, October 1st, and we’ll see if we can’t muddle through this together. πŸ™‚


3 The boys get their school pictures taken tomorrow. I both love this time and hate this time.

I love it because I love getting the pictures back and then updating portraits around the house.

I hate it because the boys won’t allow me to dress them up anymore. I used to LOVE picking out their little outfits, combing their hair and making sure they color-coordinated with their backgrounds but now?

I’m lucky if they allow me to breathe the same air as they do. πŸ˜€ As a result, their school pictures these past several years have been … uh … less than stellar.

But that’s okay, because they are a good depiction of WHO they are and besides, I now have ammunition to use against them for when they get older. (“See? Momma DOES know best.” *grin*)

This will be Dude’s last year getting his school picture taken AT school. Next year (well, next summer actually), he’ll have fancy-smancy senior pictures taken.

I can’t even believe I just typed that sentence out.

I’ll have to scan all of their school pictures and post them some day. That probably won’t be interesting to anyone but friends and family but it might be fun to physically document how they’ve changed over the years.


4 We took Jazz to the orthodontist yesterday.

They took an x-ray of his teeth and would you believe the stinker STILL has THREE baby teeth?! I was shocked. I was sure he had lost all of them by now. But no, he still needs to lose the teeth between his eye teeth and his molars (the dental assistant gave them an official name, but I can’t think of it right now).

However, all three of them are just hanging there. The roots are gone and it won’t be long before they come out, so Dr. B. thought it would be okay to get the process started and just work around those particular teeth.

When Dr. B. began explaining to us what needed to be done, I was shocked. I honestly didn’t think Jazz needed that much work done. Not like Dude who had too many teeth for his mouth and had MAJOR crowding issues. (Dr. B. pulled up Dude’s before and after pictures — wow. I had forgotten how BAD Dude’s teeth really were. In fact, Kevin compared his mouth to a rodent’s mouth. HA!).

But Jazz’s problem is that his front teeth protrude out – not exactly an overbite, per se, but they stick out far enough to be a concern. Dr. B. also suggested that we might consider extracting a few teeth to make room for the adjustment.

*SIGH*

He suggested we do that with Dude, too. And I said no. I don’t want my sons going through life with holes in their mouth. And I honestly don’t think it’s necessary. Dude …. maybe, given his small mouth. But Jazz? No way. He has the room, the doctor will just have to manipulate his teeth.

Think of it as a challenge, Dr. B.

At any rate, Jazz will go back Monday to begin records. They will take more pictures of his mouth and I’ll fill out mountains of paperwork.

It’s funny because I didn’t realize, until I got home and was inputting Jazz’s appointment into my Outlook, that Dude has an appointment that same time on the same day, too. HA! Talk about killing two birds with one stone! Dude has to go in every few months, just for observation, for the next year (which he’s not happy about). So, it’ll be interesting: I’ll have one child wrapping the process up and one child beginning the process.

They’re predicting that Jazz will have braces for 30 months. This is assuming, of course, that all goes according to plan. That means that Jazz will have braces for most of his high school years. He’s not too happy about that. But after seeing what a DIFFERENCE it’s made to Dude’s self-esteem and confidence to have such straight and pretty teeth, it’s absolutely worth it.

We want to do all we can to help the boys get a good start in life and if we can start by giving them a confident smile, then so be it.

I’m predicting Dr. B. is going to want to put Jazz’s braces on this month and that might not be doable. Jazz has numerous band performances as well as a competition and a festival coming up this month and I don’t want him to be distracted by a painful mouth. So, I might suggest we wait until November to put the braces on – we’ll see how it goes.

At any rate, Dr. B. hasn’t seen the last of me.

Poor guy. πŸ™‚


5 Speaking of band performances:

I just checked the band director’s blog — they have a rehearsal and a dinner this Friday night. And then they have a competition this Saturday.

Next weekend, they have some sort of clinic/dinner thing (not sure what that’s about), and then the weekend after that, we will go to St. Louis for the Bands Of America competition. (I’m looking forward to that).

The weekend after that, we go BACK to St. Louis for a festival and according to the schedule? Jazz’s band doesn’t perform until 8:00 that night, so it will be a loooong day. But again, I’m looking forward to it.

The weekend after that, they will be traveling to Columbia, MO for another performance.

And in between all of that, he has Tuesday night rehearsals and three football games.

Whew!

But I’m not complaining. In fact, I think I’m having more fun than he is!


6 And now, if you made it to the bottom of his long-ass post, YAY YOU!!

And as a reward? Here is a slightly psychotic picture of me enjoying one of the many taboo foods I should not eat:

Yum, Ice Cream
(I’m holding a mint drum stick with half of the hard chocolate coating eaten off. It was all I could do to stop eating long enough to snap this photo).

I’m sure your day is complete now.

You’re welcome.

πŸ˜‰

random stuff, Tuesday Stuff

Random Tuesday: Because Being Random Deserves It’s Own Day

randomtuesday

1 I quite possibly have the CUTEST nephews in the whole stinkin’ world.

I mean, just look at these precious faces:

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Yes. Yes. I know what you’re thinking — YOU think YOU have the best looking nephews in the whole stinkin’ world and I’m sure you think you do (*wink*), but let me raise the stakes one more time.

Not only are my brother’s boys THE cutest thing since suede baby booties, they are THE most polite 5 year old and 2 1/2 year old, EVAR.

Seriously. I can’t even tell you how many “pwease” and “tank yews” I heard from these adorable children the other night. And OMG, they are like a photographer’s dream. All I had to do was point the camera in their directions and they instantly froze in place and went all vogue on me.

And, and THEN! To top it off, my youngest nephew, A., climbed into my lap and graced me with toddler cuddles.

*thunk* My heart dropped to my feet and my (old) girl parts actually twinged for like the first time in YEARS. In fact, it had been so long since I felt that little shiver/ripple that I thought I had gas at first.

Those children are seriously dangerous to my biological clock (which has nearly stopped, by the way. There is no way in Hades I’m EVER having another child).

It was a real treat to see them (and my brother and sis-in-law). They live out of town and had a few vacation days so they paid us a visit. I hadn’t seen little A. in oh gosh, a year? And he’s a walking, talking replica of my brother.

Which doesn’t mean I think my brother is cute (EW!), but holy moly, his kids sure are.

And Angie, if you’re reading this? You’re doing a great job with those boys. They are seriously the most polite little boys I’ve ever had the pleasure to be around. Keep up the good work, sis-in-law.

2 Day two of band camp is over.

And Jazz is already burned out and frustrated.

exhausted First of all, Jazz is not used to all of this exercise. My boy plants his butt in a computer chair and doesn’t move it unless he needs to pee or eat. And he’s done that all summer. So the fact that he’s been busy marching has taken a physical toll on him.

And let’s not forget the mental exhaustion from playing an instrument.

Band camp runs from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. And yes, it IS as grueling as it sounds. The kids are super busy learning their songs (they have to memorize them – sheet music is for wimps!) and learning their marching/formation routines.

He says it’s really hard and he’s frustrated because he hasn’t gotten the hang of it yet.

*blink*

It’s only been two days, kid! Sheesh, cut yourself some slack. But hey, he’s my son, which means he’s a perfectionist, so I know he’ll get it eventually. (He’s too stubborn to give up).

He’s having a bit of a peer pressure problem. One of the kids called him “gangsta” today and it upset him, all because the shorts he was wearing had a strip of white at the hem. WTH? I don’t know, I don’t get it, either.

In addition, I gave him a nice sized cooler with a pop-up spout to drink from to take with him to camp because the band flyer SAID to do this — the kids are out in the sun, marching in 90 degree weather, they get a TAD dehydrated — and apparently, since he didn’t have a water bottle like every other kid, they thought they would point out that he dared to be different and made fun of him.

*sigh* You really can’t win these stupid teenage angst wars so seriously, don’t try.

But, because I’m a good mom and don’t want him to be all self-conscious, we dug out a small, traditional cooler and tomorrow, I will put two bottles of water in it as well as his root beer for his lunch. I’m betting the other kids’ beverages won’t be HALF as cold and DELICIOUS as my son’s so you know? Jump off, yo. *snap* (Yep, I can talk the talk, ya’ll).

There is an ice cream social next Tuesday night for the parents. That’s when we’ll get to see what the kids have been working on. I can’t WAIT.

Of course, there will be videos. Duh.

3 I wish I felt more comfortable marketing myself. I need to get over that, I suppose. And I am working on it. In fact, I’ve been busy putting some things together in the hopes that I can entice some potential clients my way.

That is probably THE biggest downfall about being self-employed, at least, for me. The whole marketing / promoting myself to people. I just feel so uncomfortable tooting my own horn. I much prefer to simply slink back into the shadows and stay low key …….

Wait a minute. Why does that sound soooo familiar?

Oh yeah, Dude. I’ve complained that he is like that and whoops! That’s exactly how I am.

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, apparently.

But seriously. I need to build my client base. I currently have five hooks in the business waters right now and I’m hoping (and praying) that I get a bite, or two, or even three.

I won’t be greedy. πŸ™‚

So, I’ve been busy putting that stuff together. And there is just something about being creative that gets me all worked up. I feel energized and enthusiastic — more so than I have in a long time.

It feels good.

4 Here are some things I’ve been Twittering about lately:

— Here’s an interesting idea: A Secure Social Networking for Tween Girls. http://bit.ly/V5Fyr But I wonder just how “secure” it truly is?

— Creative Nonfiction is looking for blog submissions. Nominate your own, someone else’s posts: http://bit.ly/15FMkE

— My boys WILL BE the coolest geeks on campus with this: http://bit.ly/5A5py (because yes, if it gets them excited about school, I’ll buy it)

— I sort of dig tormenting (in a good way) my 16-yr old son. It’s just so darn amusing. And I suppose it’s better than popping him in the head.

— Wow. Great post about the power of loving your spouse the correct way and saving your marriage. http://bit.ly/qPmR

— *squee!* I totally want the fail whale pillow. http://bit.ly/OZbbf

— Saw on news that unemployment rate is over 20% for 16 to 20 yr olds – adults are taking these jobs from kids. Not good news for oldest son.

— New food for thought. Will you become a part of healthy debate? http://politicalmommentary.ning.com/

— ‘Mommy bloggers’ are fighting what they fear is a backlash against their profession http://tinyurl.com/lsqx5d

— Wearable Feedbags Lets Americans Eat More, Move Less: http://bit.ly/MM2Vx // ROFL! Only The Onion could get away w/ this.

— It’s All About Me!! – 55 Awesome About Me Pages: http://bit.ly/16ikYx

— Arkansas Mother Sells Naming Rights of Unborn Son on eBay: http://bit.ly/2xvL9 // Oh my.

I mean, come on, if you’re not following me on Twitter, why not?! Look at the cool crap I talk about.

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5 I seriously need to stop waiting until the last minute to update my blog.

I’m so brain dead, I look like this guy.

Hey honey, how’s about a kiss.

Okay, I’m getting delirious now. I must say goodnight to ya’ll.

Goodnight to ya’ll.

Tuesday Stuff

Braving Life

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Heads or Tails is hosted by Barb a.k.a. Skittles. Thanks Barb!

This week’s prompt: Tails – Brave

______________________________

What does it mean to be brave?

Good question – what’s your answer?

Because I honestly don’t know and I have no clue if it applies to me.

Brave is a verb. And by being a verb, it implies action. As in, to face or endure with courage.

Well, face or endure … what?

Emergencies? Life situations? Big decisions? Beliefs?

All of the above?

Whenever I think of the word brave, I think of our military men and women who put their lives on the line in order to protect our country. I think of our emergency personnel who risk life-threatening situations in order to save us … from ourselves.

I think of our teachers who are brave enough to teach our unruly youth. I think of doctors and nurses who work to improve our way of life. I think of our blue-collar workers who aren’t afraid to step in and take care of the unsavory aspects of our lives.

I think of the brave artists who put their creative work out there for all to enjoy, or criticize.

And then … there’s me.

I am not brave. I am none of these heroic people I have just mentioned. I have never saved someone’s life. I have never done anything life changing. I have never been willing to put myself into an uncomfortable situation simply because it was a job that needed to be done.

I don’t even have the courage to send my creative work out into the publishing world.

I am actually a coward.

But perhaps I’m concentrating too much on the big picture. Perhaps being brave is about more than changing lives but rather, enduring the little, everyday challenges of life.

And if we can agree that living our lives to the best of our ability is a form of bravery, then perhaps there is hope for me yet.

I have braved several events in my life:

  • Falling out of my car at the age of 19 and living with a two-inch scar on my forehead for all the world to see and question.
  • Praying for my oldest son when he arrived eight weeks early, with no explanation and no warning.
  • Losing my youngest son in Sears when he was three years old for 20 minutes and fearing that I would never see him again.
  • Enduring the humiliation of being locked out of my own house and having to humble myself in front of strangers.
  • Fighting for a marriage that I was all too willing to end because I wasn’t brave enough to face my own mistakes.
  • Maintaining a brave face and stiff upper lip for my two small sons when a young girl plowed into us and totaled my van. (husband was out of town and we hitched a ride home with one of my co-workers).
  • Trudging over and through numerous hurdles in order to earn a college degree.
  • Facing my own mortality when we were flying home and the airplane’s landing gear malfunctioned.
  • Crushing a Hercules beetle in my house (click if you dare) and keeping it from the boys so they wouldn’t freak out.
  • Braving criticism and hostility by posting my religious beliefs on this blog.

All of these things seem so … unimportant and insignificant when compared to events that others have braved in their lifetimes.

But that’s okay, I’m grateful that my bravery has never truly been put to the test.

Tuesday Stuff

Want My Clothes? Here Take Them. Please.

So, the whole crying on Sunday thing I alluded to yesterday…

If there is one thing that I CAN NOT stand to do, and I mean, I avoid it at all costs, is clothes shopping.

I absolutely, positively, can not stomach shopping for clothes.

I have no problem shopping for my boys or my husband, but for me?

Forgetaboutit.

And one of the biggest reasons I DON’T shop for myself? Because I’m a tall Amazon woman and the numb nuts in the fashion industry simply DO NOT design clothes for my body frame.

Here are my biggest problem areas:

I have football shoulders. Seriously, they are wide. And I have thick arms, which accounts for my current obsession in whipping these logs into shape before summer because they’re just hideous.

And I have a long torso. And a long, er, inseam.

And I find it nearly impossible to find anything that fits me.

So, I hang out in t-shirts because they are the only thing that even remotely cover my huge frame and they’re comfortable.

But let’s be honest, t-shirts? Ain’t sexy. And my poor husband would like to have a wife who exudes just a little bit of sex appeal. It’s an ego thing.

Now don’t get me wrong, I look at clothes. In fact, it’s safe to say, I’m almost obsessed with looking at clothes. But I’m worse than the Chandler character on Friends: I pick everything apart and nothing is ever good enough for me.

The sleeves are way too short and will highlight my thickness. (Seriously. What asshole designer thought that cap sleeves were EVER a good idea for a woman??)

Shirts/blouses are never long enough and end up hitting me at high waist. And if I’m lucky enough to FIND something that is long enough, it inevitably shrinks in the wash so I MIGHT be able to wear it for a grand total of two times before that happens.

I can’t wear boatnecks, halter tops or thick-strapped tank tops because it draws attention to my linebacker shoulders and makes them look even wider – if that’s even possible.

Pants? NEVER LONG ENOUGH. Ever.

Ever.

Any pants that I buy? Have to be specially hemmed in order to be long enough (Thank God for Land’s End or I’d be walking around in high waters my entire life).

So, even though I can wear Misses size clothing, I can’t. Because of the reasons stated above. So, I shop Tall – only, the Tall selection? Not so good. Think fugly maternity clothes – limited selection and what is up with the fabric choices?!

In a nutshell? Clothes are my Achilles heel. When I’m lucky enough to find something that fits me, I tend to hoard it, and only wear it on select occasions because I’m terrified of washing it too many times for fear it will shrink.

But when I wear it, I feel confident that it looks good on me.

And then, I find out that something I’ve been wearing and feeling good in? Makes me look pregnant.

Yeah. I’d like to MURDER THE PERSON WHO TOLD KEVIN THAT.

It was a company picnic. And I wore this cute little top with 3/4 sleeves (hide the fatty arms), that draped to my hips and plunged low enough that I wore a cami underneath it and showed just a hint of cleavage. In my eyes, this baby did a good job of covering up my flaws – even the color suited me.

But Kevin told me over the weekend (and this picnic was last summer!!), that someone asked him when I was expecting!?!

AARGH!! He said it was because of the empire waist, that it ballooned out just enough to make it look like I was hiding a poochy belly …

which I sort of was, but that’s beside the point.

I love empire waist tops. I just think they’re cute. They are tight around the bodice but billow out around the waist so that a woman can hide the rolls and back fat. A win-win situation, apparently.

Kevin? Hates empire waists – on any woman, because he thinks it makes them look pregnant.

I CAN NOT WIN.

Kevin told me this right before Bible study on Sunday and I’m ashamed to admit this, but I didn’t pay attention to anything that was discussed during Bible study because I was too busy feeling incredibly angry about this stupid clothes situation. Apparently, I can not find a healthy balance between something that fits and is sexy. It just frustrates me to no end.

And when I get that frustrated? I cry. And if you ever see me crying? Do. Not. Approach. I will savagely tear you to shreds because I can’t stand to cry and I can’t handle people seeing me cry.

I shut myself off in the bathroom after Bible study and had a really good cry. The hard, silent, uncontrollable cry that only happens to me once every ten years.

I know it seems silly to cry over clothes, but this is something I’ve struggled with my whole life. It’s an ongoing battle that is never far from my mind.

AND the reason I loathe spring and summer so much because I’m forced to wear more revealing clothes that do not flatter me.

After I got over my crying bout, a red-hot searing hatred for everything in my closet consumed me. So much so, in fact, that it motivated me to clean out my closet and stuff nearly every article of clothing that I own into trash bags and give away to the Goodwill.

Five 1/2 trash bags, to be precise.

tackle-tuesday And that’s where Tackle it Tuesday comes in. (Finally).

I shut the bedroom door and I ripped into the task with a vengeance that kind of scared me, if you want the truth. I was purging on a frantic, animal level. If I hadn’t worn the article of clothing in the last year, it was out. If it was borderline, it was out. If I had been hanging onto it for the past several years thinking I would wear it again once I got a job outside the home where I was required to wear something nice, I got rid of it.

I went from this:

closet-before

To this:

closet-after

In an hour.

And it felt GOOD. I felt FREE. And then immediately felt an overwhelming wave of sadness.

Now what?

Even though it would thrill Kevin for me to walk around naked all the time I’m pretty sure it would scar the boys for life. Not to mention scare small children and make otherwise complacent animals turn rabid.

AND, did I mention that we’re going on a cruise in June?

Hello?! Vacation pictures!! *insert banshee screams here*

If I ever needed convincing that I have the best husband in the world (which I don’t), this would be the point where I realized it. Kevin saw how upset this whole clothes thing was to me and he went through a JCPenney catalog and marked everything he thought would look cute on me.

Of course, I shot down everything he marked (the sleeves are too short, it’s not a size tall so the waist won’t be long enough, the color won’t flatter me, etc, etc), but it was the thought that melted my heart.

Because I was in one of those rare moods to actually HEAR someone give me constructive criticism, we went online and searched several shops for clothing that met my criteria.

He offered his opinion, and I listened. We volleyed back and forth on various options (and I’m sad to say, there weren’t many) and our conclusion?

I look best in sporty-type clothes. Dainty feminine stuff? Just looks ridiculous on me. And if anyone in the fashion industry happens to come across this post? How’s about making some clothes that flatter tall women?!

Here is what I DO look good in:

3/4 sleeves – seriously, I was made to wear this length. But it’s not exactly ideal when hanging out around the equator – have I mentioned that I exude three football players’ worth of sweat every single waking moment??

Spaghetti straps. I mentioned that I can not wear tank tops, but for some strange reason, I can carry off spaghetti straps. So, here come the camis.

Sleeveless turtlenecks. I can’t wear sleeveless in any other style because once again, those damn football shoulders.

V-necks and regular t-shirt collars are okay but square necks, or boat necks are OUT.

Pants that flare at the bottom – straight legs bring attention to my wide load, otherwise known as my hips and butt.

I can wear low-waisted pants, but only if I wear a top that comes to my hips. Remember the whole long-waisted problem? This way, it all blends.

And that’s it. Everything else? Doesn’t work for me.

My options are limited. My wardrobe is boring.

And I’ve given up on trying to be sexy.

Tuesday Stuff

Being Cavalier About It

See GD’s new car?

Blake's New Car

It’s a 1999 Chevy Cavalier and as you can see, the body is in pretty good shape. It runs pretty good – Kevin drove it to work today and said it did really well on the highway. It needs to be aligned and the back defroster doesn’t work (we can worry about that in the Fall) but other than that, it seems to be pretty solid.

After we picked it up last night, the guys ran it through a car wash, so the exterior looks pretty good, but it’s filthy on the inside. I’m going to give it a good inside washing later this week. The interior smells a bit like smoke and GD says he LIKES the smell – Hhmm … a little worried about that. πŸ™‚ But I’m sure it’s nothing that a little Febreeze can’t fix.

Posing with Pa-pa

My father-in-law dropped by to pick up some tax forms that Kevin worked up for him and he left some high-duty car wax with us, so Kevin and GD are going to give it a good wax job this weekend. Kevin also showed GD how to check the oil and other things concerning the motor last night.

The previous owners replaced the brake drums in the back, but didn’t paint them, so they are rusted and nasty looking right now, the guys are also going to paint those this weekend, too.

GD and I took it for a short drive.

Excited to Take it Out for First Time

He was excited to drive it and he drove MUCH better this go-around. He was a lot more confident and his turning was much smoother this time around. I was amazed at the change in his attitude. He was fired up. And this car really seems to suit him – he loves it.

He’s been bitten by the driving bug.

God help us.

It has a moonroof. Here he is gloating at me because I just told him I was jealous.

Gloating through Moonroof

And I am. The stinker.

We teased him quite a bit about the moonroof.

“Think how romantic that will be when you’re on a date and you guys can sit back and admire the stars while holding hands.”

*snicker* We love teasing him about girls because he gets so embarrassed.

We do wish we had asked a few more questions initially though. For instance, we should have asked to take a look at the title so we could get the VIN number and look up the vehicle’s history on Carfax. (You may have to pay a small fee in order to see the full report on Carfax, but if you’re serious about buying the car, it’s a good idea to invest that money and take a look.)

After we got home and started looking at the title, we noticed two things:

— there’s an odometer discrepancy and
— there are beneficiaries

We put in the vehicle identification number at Carfax and it appears there’s an odometer discrepancy. The mileage is not it’s true mileage – and right now, it’s showing about 95,000 miles. This discrepancy could be one of two reasons: either it’s been tampered with, or it’s a vehicle with a 5 digit odometer and can’t accurately track mileage over 99,999.

So … we don’t really know. We’re hoping the mileage is not ACTUALLY 195,000 miles, but it’s sort of too late – we paid cash for the car, it’s our problem now.

But we’re not overly worried. It’s a Chevy, and Cavaliers are pretty common which means we shouldn’t have any problem getting parts for it and they should be fairly cheap to buy (this is always a factor whenever we buy a car – foreign cars are great, but if they break down, just HOW much is it going to cost in parts and labor? For example: one of my nephews used to drive a Jetta, which gave him problems all the time. And it cost him an insane amount of money to get it fixed each time. He finally traded it in because it was such a money pit).

Kevin is also pretty good with cars and in fact, enjoys working on them, so it’s likely he’ll be able to do most of any work that needs to be done on it.

Still though, it’s disappointing that the previous owners didn’t bring the odometer discrepancy to our attention. We certainly would, and will, when it comes time to sell this car. (I just hope it doesn’t hinder us from selling it). But ultimately, it’s our fault for not checking into things a bit more thoroughly before handing over the money and signing the Bill of Sale.

Though both sellers on the title signed off the title, there are some beneficiaries. I’m hoping this just means she put the car in her children’s names or something and doesn’t mean they have to sign the title. I don’t think it’ll be a problem, but again, we should have saved our star-struck enthusiasm for after we bought the car and asked a few more questions before proceeding with the transaction.

Learn from our mistakes, people.

Save for these little hiccups, we’re happy with the car and we certainly didn’t expect it to be perfect – it’s 10-years old, after all. We’ll deal with any problems that come up.

Now GD has plenty of time to get used to his car before taking his driver’s test. The procedures have changed since I was a teenager. He has to practice a minimum of six months and have logged in at least 40 hours of drive time (yes, we’re keeping a log). This INCLUDES 10 hours of night driving – I’m NOT looking forward to that. But that will be the last thing we attempt so he’ll be pretty confident by then.

I hope.

He can only have a licensed driver, over 21, in the car with him. This means little brother can not ride with him. GD wanted MK to ride along last night, but I said no, it wasn’t allowed and I didn’t want him to be distracted by MK. (Not to mention, he’s just not ready to have passengers yet, anyway).

So, six months from his permit issue date is September 25th. This means he should have his Intermediate license before his 17th birthday.

(I know this is probably boring for some of you, but just wait, driving becomes a BIG DEAL later. Especially with your first!)

After he passes his driver’s test, then he’ll receive an Intermediate license. This just means he can drive, but there are restrictions.

Such as:

— During the first six months, he can’t have more than one passenger, under 19-years old and who is not a member of the immediate family.

No problem with that. In fact, we’ve already told him that he is not allowed to have ANY passengers in the car with him until he’s had one solid year of driving experience under his belt.

— He can’t drive alone between 1:00 and 5:00 in the morning unless it’s to and from a school activity, a job, or an emergency.

No worries there. He shouldn’t be out at that time of night, anyway.

Then, when he turns 21 18, all he has to do is take another vision test and he can apply for a full license.

I’m really glad to see there are steps and restrictions on our young drivers, nowadays. It doesn’t seem like it was nearly this stringent when I was a kid and honestly, it needs to be. I sometimes think kids under 18 are too young to drive to begin with. But I suppose it depends on the kid.

The plan, as of now, is not to let him drive to school after he gets his license. We have a couple of reasons for that:

1. His high school is land-locked. So this means, not only is there a lot of traffic when coming and going to school, but that there isn’t a lot of room to maneuver: it’s like threading a needle sometimes and it’s nerve-wracking for me, I can’t imagine how GD would handle it.

And to top it off, his peers take risks and show off in front of each other so we’ve witnessed quite a few fender benders in just the two years he’s been going there. GD sees all of this and has told me he has no desire to drive in the middle of that. He might change his mind later, as he matures, and when that happens, we’ll re-evaluate the pros and cons of driving himself to school.

2. I don’t want to give him the opportunity to skip school. I’m not saying GD would ever do that, but it would be tempting. I should know, because I got myself into trouble, several times, for skipping school when I started driving. This way, I know he’s there and I don’t have to worry about him.

I wish ya’ll could have seen the way GD acted last night. He walked straighter, his shoulders were back, his head was held high and he just talked … differently. He took an active interest in his car and actually looked interested in what his dad was telling him about the car. We’ve turned a corner in GD’s life – he’s not a boy anymore, he’s a man.

And he’s embracing a man’s responsibility.

I’m suddenly finding it hard to breathe.

heads-or-tails-large

Heads or Tails is hosted by Barb a.k.a. Skittles. Thanks Barb!

This week’s prompt: Heads – See

Tuesday Stuff

Turn It Down a Notch, Won’t You?

heads-or-tails-large

Heads or Tails is hosted by Barb a.k.a. Skittles. Thanks Barb!

This week’s prompt: Heads – Loud

______________________________

We are not loud people.

In fact, it’s safe to say, we really can’t stand to be AROUND loud people.

I remember being shushed a lot when I was a kid. My dad got cranky when we were loud so I sort of grew up being quiet. It wasn’t until later that I really began to appreciate the art of silence.

Loud people make me nervous. Why do loud people feel so compelled to be loud? Insecurity? Attention? Why the theatrics? Loud people are obnoxious, irritating and definitely not cute, funny or even appealing when they’re loud. And don’t these loud people know that by being loud they are actually being counterproductive because no one really wants to be around a loud person?

Knowing when to shut up is a sign of maturity and a respect for those around you, quite frankly.

GD was a pretty quiet kid, MK? Not so much. He was a SCREAMER when he was little and his SCREAMS would make your ears bleed; they were loud and shrill and the tone was just one octave below your sanity level. When he got into one of his screaming fits (there were times NOTHING calmed that boy down), I actually went and sat in my car in the garage just to get my head screwed back on right before I felt calm enough to deal with him again.

lou35 I’m not a loud talker, though MK is. In fact, I had to constantly remind him when he was little (and occasionally still do now that he’s a teenager) to use his inside voice. He had a tendency to forget that the people he was talking to? Were standing right next to him.

I used to try and analyze why he felt the need to talk so loudly. Could he not hear himself? Was he just excited about something and couldn’t keep it inside? Was he trying to blow people’s eardrums? It was a mystery to me.

Loud people make me cringe. They physically hurt my ears. And loud shrill voices are the worst. In fact, its a pretty safe bet that if I find myself around that sort of person, I will politely, but quickly, exit the premises. There’s something so … uncomfortable about being around a loud person. Aside from the obvious irritating noise factor, there’s the fact that by being loud, that person is displaying his/her insecurities for all the world to see and I feel embarrassed for them.

The only time I’m ever loud with my children is when I’m scolding them. I talk in a pretty neutral voice most of the time so when I raise my voice, it really gets my kids’ attention (there’s a little tip for you new mothers – don’t raise your voice very often. Then when you do, not only will your kids sit up and take notice, they will know you mean business).

My kids do not like it when I raise my voice. I have a very harsh, even cruel, voice when I raise it and I’ve caught them actually cringing several times when I use it. Needless to say, they will pretty much do anything I ask them in order to prevent me from raising my voice.

*SCORE!*

I don’t like loud music UNLESS I’m really ticked off. Then I love to crank it up. When I get angry, it’s like my body puts off these intense heat waves and the music helps to absorb those nasty thoughts and anger vibes somehow.

My husband likes to play his guitar pretty loud. In fact, we have to shut him off in his office when he gets in one of his “moods” because it’s so loud it actually vibrates the windows and yes, our neighbors can hear it.

The only person who can not STAND loud noise, of any kind, is GD. And I think he might have sensitive ears partly because he was a preemie. Another reason I think he doesn’t like loud noises is because he’s just a sensitive kid. He has never handled strife very well in his life – he’s more of a smooth sailing, easy-going personality and doesn’t really “do” drama, of any sort or from anyone.

I think loud people, in general, are selfish and self-centered. I tend to get very impatient with people who don’t have enough sense to be quiet – especially when the situation demands it, like in a library, or during a movie.

β€œThere are times when silence has the loudest voice”

How true, how true.

Tuesday Stuff

Pass the Bottle

heads-or-tails-large

Heads or Tails is hosted by Barb a.k.a. Skittles. Thanks Barb!

This week’s prompt: Heads – Bottle

______________________________

Thought-provoking title, no?

I don’t mean bottle as in an alcoholic bottle (I don’t drink), I mean a bottle as in a lotion bottle.

When I first saw the prompt for this week’s Heads or Tails I thought of two possible subject titles:

“Pass the Bottle” and “Bottled Up.”

Though I would have preferred to talk about being bottled up, about how it’s dangerous to keep resentments and frustrations bottled up inside of you so that it finally bubbles over and the person explodes over the silliest and most inconsequential thing even though what they are REALLY upset about has nothing, whatsoever, to do with their explosion, I didn’t think I could sufficiently talk about that without revealing private information and thereby making the person who has all of this pent-up energy inside of him detonate and spew icky black anger all over my walls and make a mess for me to clean up.

Wow, that was a long sentence.

So, I wrote about it in a password-protected post and now, I feel loads better. Writing private posts really is therapeutic – bloggers, you should try it sometime.

Since “Bottled Up” was not an option, I thought I would go with plan B and write “Pass the Bottle” because it’s the safest option and suitable to publish on the Internet. Okay, maybe not suitable, but definitely safer.

I’m an Amazon woman. I’m 5’10 inches tall and I’m a size 10, on a good, non-bloating day. I have broad shoulders. I have thick arms. I have pudgy hands and I have perfect birthing hips.

I am not, even in your wildest dreams, small, petite, cute, little, pixie-like, adorable or feminine.

These are simply not words that would come to your mind if you were to meet me in real life. I am a giant. I loom. I intimidate. I am someone to look up to – not figuratively, but quite literally. I am she-woman, hear me roar.

I’ve accepted this. And most of the time, it doesn’t bother me. In fact, most of the time, I’m not even aware of how Amazon-ish I am until I see pictures of myself with my husband’s family who are all thin, shorter and more beautiful than I am.

And my mother-in-law wonders why I ABHOR family pictures with me in them. Because those pictures are an ugly, painful reminder than I’m simply not all that feminine – at least, MY definition of feminine. And though I don’t usually have a problem with self-esteem, the amount I do have dissipates into thin air whenever I see those pictures. Those family pictures are like those “I Spy” pictures – “Boys and girls, can you spot the Amazon woman? Wow! That was fast!”

Though I respect myself and my husband enough to keep myself clean, (semi) toned and thinned down, I don’t spend a lot of time on my appearance.

Sure, I put makeup on, I comb my hair and brush my teeth but those are the extent of my beauty routine. I do just enough to conform to society’s expectations.

I do not wear lipstick. I do not put a lot of thought into my clothes (unless I’m having lunch with my husband and I do that because 1. I don’t want to embarrass him in front of his co-workers 2. Because my husband deserves to see me looking my best, 3. because I deserve to see me looking my best, 4. because it makes me feel, and dare I say it, act better when I look polished and professional).

I do not wear nail polish. I do not wear jewelry, not even my wedding ring most of the time (which irks the husband and something I’m working on).

I’m not interested in fashion. I am not interested in shopping, of any kind. I could care less about purses. Or shoes (most of the time).

I don’t simper. I don’t bat my eyelashes. I don’t act girly (unless I see a big, ugly bug/spider and then all bets are off), and I don’t play head games. I have no patience for gossip. I have no interest in wasting time or energy on what someone thinks of me (for the most part).

In short, I’m an Amazon – both physically and emotionally.

But there is one (or two, possibly three) indulges that I do allow myself – lotion.

I love shopping for lotions. I love looking at the pretty bottles. I love popping the tabs and taking deep, appreciative sniffs of Rainkissed Leaves, Sensual Amber, Japanese Cherry Blossom, Coconut Lime and Black Amethyst.

I love squeezing thick, fat lines of lotion onto my freshly shaved legs and then spreading it over my skin. I love how the lotion turns the texture my otherwise tough skin into something soft, supple, and feminine.

I love how people comment about how good I smell whenever I go out. It makes me feel good. It makes me feel special. It makes me feel like a woman.

Lotions are one of the few indulgences I allow myself. I think mainly because it’s not obvious – no one knows my feminine weakness save for me and my husband.

And well, now you. πŸ™‚

Perhaps this Amazon woman is not quite so Amazon-ish after all.

________________________

Photo Contest at writefromkaren.com

It’s happening right now!

Tuesday Stuff

Watch Me

heads-or-tails-large I’ve been meaning to do this meme for like, forever and today is the day to get started – mainly because I need something to talk about.

Thank goodness for memes.

Heads or Tails is hosted by Barb a.k.a. Skittles. Thanks Barb!

This week’s prompt: Heads – Watch

______________________

Watch me grow old.

Or better yet, don’t watch me grow old. Because I’m going to fight this process with every fiber of my being.

Hi! I’m 43-years old. *cheerfully waves* At least, that’s what “they” claim.

According to my birth certificate, I was born in 1965. Nineteen Sixty-Five. That sounds so ancient, especially since we’re in the 2,000’s now.

Though I’m on record as having been born in 1965, that I am currently 43 years old, I don’t mentally FEEL that old. I mentally FEEL about 25 years old.

Someone check my records; there must be some mistake.

When I look in the mirror, I don’t see a 43-year old woman. I see a woman who might possibly pass for 35.

And it’s not just me, heck, I still get carded when I buy wine for my husband. (Granted Wal-Mart associates are now required to card anyone who looks to be younger than 30 but whatever, I can still pretend they think I’m not quite 21).

It’s so hard to explain how I’m feeilng without sounding clichΓ©. You wake up one morning and you’re over 40, 50, 60 and you’re honestly surprised – how did this happen? Where did the years go?

There is something infinitely disturbing about growing old. Getting old happens to other people, it doesn’t happen to me. In my mind, the years are passing but somehow time is standing still for me. The numbers add up but the mental image of yourself does not.

At least, it doesn’t for me.

My children are growing, they are getting older. And that’s thrilling to me. I’m watching them develop into incredible people. But that’s only affecting them, it’s not affecting me. I’m still the naive, inexperienced 26-year old who didn’t recognize that her water broke and refused to go to the hospital until the last possible moment because her baby wasn’t due to be born for another eight weeks.

I try and tell myself being 40-something is not old. It’s a state of mind. It’s just a number.

It’s a high number.

Is my life half over?

What a sobering thought.

However, my age seems to be knocking on my physical door demanding to be let in or at the very least, to be taken seriously. It seems like, in just the last few months, I’ve begun noticing more aches and pains – nothing serious, but serious enough to get my attention.

I’ve always been very healthy. I’ve always pushed myself to my physical limits and bounced back the next day. Now I’m lucky if I bounce back within the week. It’s taking me longer to recuperate from vigorous workouts – much longer. I’m sore for more days and I’m so, so, so tired the next day. Which is normal anyway, especially when you start working out again, but I’ve been consistently working out and I’m still so, so, so tired.

I feel heavy, and not just the fat kind of heavy but my muscles and bones just feel heavy. Sometimes it feels like I’m walking through water, everything just feels sluggish. I’m quite confident it’s not due to a medical condition – again, I’m pretty healthy, I come from very healthy stock, and the changes I feel are subtle, but they’re there. I recognize them because I’ve always been so tuned into my physical condition.

I can usually ignore the aches and pains – I believe I have a pretty high pain threshold. If I didn’t, I’d probably be making regular visits to the doctor because quite honestly, I’m physically uncomfortable the majority of my time now.

But it doesn’t REALLY hit home until my back starts giving me problems.

I’ll be honest, one of the biggest reasons I walk is to keep my back from going out. (And here you thought I was a workout fiend. HA!) It’s when I’m an inactive slug that my back starts the tell-tale twitches and before long, I’m flat on my back and/or hobbling around like an old woman. Walking keeps my back loose and limber. After I discovered that little secret, I’ve been successful at warding off back attacks. Thank the dear Lord above.

So when my back started feeling twitchy a few days ago, I was surprised. I had been walking. I had been stretching. It had been months since my last back episode. What was the dealio, Holmes?

The only thing I can think of to explain my current back problem is that I did a lot of bending and twisting when I took the Christmas tree down. Seriously. My back is tender and sore because of that?!

Apparently.

This realization just disgusts the crap out of me. Am I so weak that I can’t even bend over and perform a simple task without my body betraying me? That’s what happens to OLD people – not to me, damn it!

I’m NOT old. I refuse to GROW old.

I know this is a natural process. I realize that it’s quite normal for my body to age, to break down, to deteriorate. But I’m not ready for that to happen yet. And I refuse to go to the doctor and get drugs because that’s what OLD people do.

At least, that’s what I will continue to tell myself until I honestly do not have a choice in the matter.