It’s not easy being Green.

Feeling-Green.jpg I know you’re sick of hearing it, but it is what it is. I’m sick. My head feels as if it’s the size of Barbie’s, the right side of my throat (if not constantly lubed up with scorching hot tea or ice cold water) feels like I swallowed a cup of glass shards, and the right side of my neck and ear are sore.

I should probably go to the doctor, but I don’t think I have one. I sort of got one a little more than a year ago when I was desperate, and then when I decided that the COBRA payment on our medical insurance was highway robbery, purchased Blue Cross, which is just legalized highway robbery. You know, make your monthly payments, and at the same time, put money in an account, so when you go to the doctor and pay for the visit you can get a tax break. Who thinks of this malarkey? So I haven’t figured out who our doctor is or whether she takes Blue Cross. And no, we haven’t gone to the doctor. We have paid eight trillion dollars for the insurance in the last year, however. You know. Because we have absolutely nothing better to spend the money on. But I tell you, I truly sleep well at night knowing that we’re helping support the payroll at Blue Cross. There’s nothing like giving back. Bleary-Eye.jpg

Where was I on my suffering and pain…

Oh yes, and then there’s this goop thing. How is it possible to breathe out of both nostrils, yet detect swamp remnants somewhere behind my face, causing me to make persistent noises at night when the MoH, who is the world’s worst sleeper, is trying to act like he can pretend as if he’ll ever go to sleep. Ever. It just gives him another reason to not sleep, which I wouldn’t wish on anyone. So to be THE reason he’s not sleeping is humiliating.

He said to me this morning as I was surveying my puffy unloveliness through bleary eyeballs in my bathroom mirror:

“Do you know how loud it was last night?”

“No,” I answer, not really wanting to know.

“It was so loud I could hear it downstairs over the radio.”

Puffy-Unloveliness.jpg Now, I’m wondering what radio because it’s easier to think about that than what he’s describing, and am trying to picture him down there in the middle of the night. Well, actually, I think it was a bit after twelve. Is that the middle of the night?

He continues, “You really sleep soundly. I even tried kicking you.” I’ve invited him to try and wake me up by nudging and shaking, but kicking? I should check my legs for bruises. I did volunteer to sleep on the couch tonight, however. True love and all that sort of thing, you know?

Clearly, I’m not running on all cylinders, but I’m still aware of a few things that are going on out there through my haze of swamp residue and general disgusting grossness:

Like Earth Day. Being green. Saving the planet one curly light bulb or ugly Prius at a time. I’ve started our transition to those curly light bulbs for more than green reasons. They’re beyond cheap at Trader Joe’s. But we have a ton of those recessed lights whose brightness rivals that of approach lights on a runway, and I haven’t quite gotten around to figuring out what to do about those. Our telescopic light bulb changer isn’t designed to hang on to those curly light bulbs and I’m not thrilled about getting up on our extendable ladder. It’s a bummer, because I just can’t wait to see what it’s going to look like with a bunch of pig tails protruding from our ceiling. In the meantime, we just don’t turn them on. Does that count? Green-Light.jpg

It should count that on trash day, our recycler is beyond full. I need to receive an award for this. Of course, much of it is wine bottles, but the paper takes up quite a bit of space, too. Junk mail should be outlawed. Not the email kind. The snail mail kind. There’s tons of it and I can’t begin to find out how to stop receiving it. Junk-Mail.jpg The unwanted magazine subscriptions that feature plastic surgeons and society events are an easy phone call or email. But the election crap, and the charity organizations asking for money? It’s ridiculous. At least it gets recycled.

We keep our cell phones way beyond what’s fashionably correct. But that isn’t because we’re being conscientious, it’s because we just don’t care that we are carrying fat, heavy phones that are banged up beyond all repair. What? Worry about the looks I’ll get the next time my clunker crashes to the floor in the grocery store bringing looks of disdain from those who have surgically attached the latest RAZR2 to their ear? Feh. Ours work just fine.

Disposal-or-Trash-.jpg I rarely put anything down the garbage disposal any more. It’s a toss up whether putting food in the land fills or out to sea is best, and it sounds noble to even consider it, but I have to be honest. Our plumbing sucks. And since we’ve had a few back ups in the last year, I try to keep the ol’ disposal’s running time down to only when necessary. That means if anything stinky is going in the trash, it has to be orchestrated with trash day. Do I need to explain how many things are in my freezer that are headed for the trash because I couldn’t leave them to rot for a week before the garbage truck came? What. A. Pain.

Full-Fridge.jpg But hey! Did you know that having a full fridge helps keep energy costs down? There’s less space to circulate the air, so the motor doesn’t have to work as hard. I wondered why I kept all that food in there. It couldn’t possibly be that I have deep-seated problems relating to hunger or neglect from childhood. Just kidding, mom. Really.

Sticking with the food theme, my coffee grounds go out to the flowerbeds as much as possible. And I’ve thought of taking the leftovers that Starbucks puts out each day, but I just don’t have that much dirt to plant in anymore.

And I bought those grocery bags that are reusable. Ten of them. I’ve actually used them three whole times since I got them. Of course carrying them in the trunk of my car doesn’t exactly help me remember that I have to use them every single time and it’s hilarious when I pop the trunk after leaving the store and see them unused. Dork. Reusable-Bags.jpg There is another problem: without the plastic grocery bags, the RTR is concerned that he’ll have to use the clear thin plastic bags the newspaper comes in to scoop the dog poop when he’s walking Miss Big. The horrors of carrying doggy poop are bad enough, let alone doggy poop that you can actually see. But I’ve got that covered when the time comes.

I haven’t figured out what to do about the kitty litter, though.

Any ideas out there?

No, the cat is staying. Besides, she’s adopted and fixed.

So happy almost Earth Day, all. Aren’t you exhausted now?

P.S.  I had absolutely NO idea my nostrils weren’t perfectly symmetrical.  Go figure.

Walking, talking, and thinking about good things.

It’s still dark in the morning when the alarm goes off at 5:10 and I rarely hesitate before throwing back the covers to step over the doggo and find my way to the closet. If I’m lucky, I’ll avoid the Yack Star, who will want to eat, and actually make it downstairs with two shoes that go together. Navigating the stairs in the dark is scary enough to have to feel my way along the wall, making sure I land solidly on each step.

Still not quite sure I’m awake, I glance at the clock and notice that only a few minutes have passed, so I pause long enough to grab a glass of water. My heart is pounding as I reach for my car key and wallet, hit the garage door button and fall into the driver’s seat. I cautiously back out, and head to my friend’s house, sometimes not quite realizing that I’m not still under the covers, snug and sleeping soundly.

I never know if she’ll be awake when I arrive and so use the sloping curb of her driveway to stretch my stiff calves while I wait. Once in a while, the elderly man who lives across the street comes out, wanting to know who I am. He’s just being a good neighbor. But since my friend and I have gotten back into the swing of things, she’s been up and ready to go. I’ve not had time to even consider whether I’ll be brave enough to tap on the glass next to her front door, hoping she’ll hear me, and causing her dogs to bark.

We start out with her loping yellow Lab each morning, barely awake, and it seems the first point of discussion is food. Often it’s more of a confessional, with comments like, “I wasn’t very good yesterday,” or “My husband looked at me and said, ‘Wine?'” Other times our talk is about which recipes we’ve tried. Somehow it makes getting up and over those hills much more easy.

There’s something soothing walking that early in the day. The annoyance of cars leaving for work or taking kids to school comes much later, and except for the occasional ghostly shadow of someone who has ventured out to retrieve their morning paper, we see no one.  Hear almost nothing beyond the rustle of some small animal in the ivy, or the soft hooting of an owl somewhere high up in the eucalyptus trees.

We’ve improved our route time by about six minutes even though we haven’t worked to do that. And only one incline continues to kick our butts, even though we’ve figured out that if we’re absorbed in a conversation, our minds don’t linger on the agony of lungs stinging for air or bodies gravity insists upon keeping close to the asphalt.

As we approach the end of our route and the last rise, I feel the air change. It’s warm, and hints of the weather we’re to have this weekend — sunny and near 80 on the coast. For a moment, I think of summer and all that comes with it.

By the time we return to the starting point, the sky is much lighter, and I drive home knowing that I’ve done something good for myself. We’ve walked about 16 miles since Sunday and I smile, acknowledging that it’s not bad for two well-seasoned chicks. I make plans for my day — not strict plans, though, because it’s Friday and I don’t have to do anything if I don’t feel like it.

But I do feel like it. I feel like continuing to think carefully about what I eat. I feel like finding a place for my mom to live when she returns to Paradise from her non adventure on the Wrong Coast. I feel like cleaning my house, and planting some flowers, and lining up what I’ll be cooking this weekend.

And I feel like spending time with the MoH who has been putting in 15-hour days. With any luck at all, I’ll actually get to see him. It puts a dent in my style when he’s not around.

Maybe I’ll bake something with dark chocolate.

It’s loaded with antioxidants, you know.

Happy weekend.


The head has cleared, my throat no longer feels like the tunnel of death, and I can sort of tell that there are things on Earth that don’t smell like s*ot.  Sorry.  I just can’t spell it.  It’s disgusting.

But I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to say Happy New Year to you all.  I tried to make it around to your blogs and hope I didn’t forget anyone.  Well, it’s not exactly like Santa trying to get around to all the giftees in the world, you know.  But still.

It was nice “seeing” you again and reading about what you’ve been up to even if the MoH is now in bed, I’m up alone, the T.V. that Best Buy has still not delivered parts on is blaring, the RT is snuggled in his bottom bunk unfortunately not as much on the mend as I, and well…

…I’m not sleepy.

Must have been all that decadent lounging on the sofa and in bed for two days with Kleenex sticking out of my nose.

Hopefully you’re smiling.  And if I can wish anything for you, it’s that.  That you’ll smile as you head into 2008, believing that good will happen when you least expect it.

Imagine what could happen if you did expect it.

See you soon.

Sledgehammer, anyone?

We made it back to Paradise in some order. That is if you count the fact that the RT and I would have been first in line for any offer of a head transplant so full of goop and germs ours were we wondered if we could even survive the flight. Have you ever been on an airplane with a head cold? I have vivid memories of pain in my ears that rivaled that of childbirth. But Nyquil tabs and Halls cough drops actually did the job. Sleep, incredible pressure just before we landed, and delirious staring at the RT mess around with the Paint software on the MoH’s laptop. It is now his screen saver, lucky dude. I’d share, but I left my camera in VA.

The MoH kicks into doctor mode whenever we go on long flights, so we drank that stuff the school teacher made up before we even left Paradise. You know, that fizzy stuff that tastes like bad citrus soda? Feh. The woman that was hacking and snooting in the row across from us must have had our names written on her microbes. The US Postal Service should know about her. The RT was the first victim, and I succumbed immediately afterwards. By Christmas evening, we would have qualified for a balloon gig in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Staying up until the wee hours of several nights with foolishness, revelry, and a pagan bonfire thrown in for good measure sealed the deal.

I’m sick.

Like a dog. Me.  On Nyquil and Bad Commercials

Okay, so I’m really just laying on the couch with my dog watching one inane commercial after another while overdosing on DIY television. What is up with the guy selling that slice-o-matic thing who YELLS in every commercial he’s in? Get out the hook for gawdsake. And the lady who used to do the “I’ve fallen and can’t get up” commercials? I swear she’s all babed up in the new ones. How convincing will that be? Sheesh.

The RT and I have been oozing around the house since our return last night peering through red-rimmed, slit eyes and talking only when necessary with gravely voices. The RT has been spared the achy, stingy Grand Canyon of a throat ache that I have, so he’s had some time to mess with his new computer, practice a few chords on his brand spankin’ new guitar that Santa brought and the two big boys unwrapped for him in a family iChat session on Christmas Day and doncha just love technology?

So here I am, filling your day with merriness.

I’m off to bed armed with several chick flicks I’ve seen a million times.

That should do it.

See you soon.


What to do on a Friday. Or not.

Since I officially have a J.O.B. now, I get to brag that I get Fridays off. And since I only work four hours a day the other four weekdays, clearly I’m not taxed here. Actually, I knew that it would be just enough time to throw off my blogging responsibilities. So thanks for your patience as I figure it out. Some of you are gifted in that area and manage to work and blog quite effectively. Show-offs. Or is it that you use that company computer? Only on breaks, right?

So what to do with this Friday and the weekend?

Grousse a bit about DubYah and the ridiculous “bail out” of the home mortgage catastrophe.

  • How nice that yet again, people who KNOWINGLY got themselves into a mess they can’t get out of get to keep their mess, but have someone else pay for it. Can I get in line for that, please? How can anyone not know that they can’t afford something? No. Way. And the lenders and agents who instigated the whole thing to pad their own wallets and then bail when things began to get soft need to be thrown in the slammer. Losers. They threw Martha in the slammer for something miniscule in comparison, and since this mortgage business is affecting the economy, uh, I’m thinking they need to round the crooks up. The whole “bail out” is a scam, anyway. Sort of along the lines of “Tastes Great! Less Filling.” Tastes great!  Less filling! Serve it up anyway, George. You go right ahead. What. Ever.

B*tch about a hike in our medical insurance because I had another birthday; its high cost must not have been quite high enough.

  • Mind you, we’ve only had the insurance since this past spring. If Blue Cross would give up sending stoopid statements on high quality shiny paper printed in lots of purdy colors (that just confirm we’re getting hosed monthly because there are only zeros on the statement), they could probably save a zillion dollars. Then they wouldn’t have to charge me the extra money that is just going out the window because we don’t use it. You can’t exactly USE medical insurance with a deductible that rivals the national debt. Welcome to the land of opportunity. The place where you purchase medical insurance just to prevent the loss of a home in the event of a serious medical condition. Wait. I could maybe swing a deal with the banking and mortgage crooks, then not have to pay. Sure.

Clearly, others understand this is the land of opportunity and the home of the brave.

  • After you rip everyone off, enjoying their hard-earned cash and credit (sans taxes, of course), why not ask for leniency because you want to turn your life around after you’ve had all this fun? *Can I borrow your spoon so I can stick it in my throat and gag?* If the judge believes these two free-loading ass*oles, I have a terrific chunk of land in Paradise that is a veritable rain forest with unlimited water and city politicians who aren’t liars.

Lest this all depress you, we can look forward to the colors the fashion industry has in store for us all next Spring. Um. I can’t wait. Spring ‘08 Colors The MoH just may be interested in a nice trouser in Snorkel Blue and a shirt with French Cuffs in Spring Crocus. Wait. On second thought, maybe one of Buckler’s designer swim suits. The gold lame.

And last but not least — I saw this standing in the grocery line a couple of days ago.

  • A suggestion or two? Tubal Ligation. Condoms. Birth control pills. Strategically positioned stitches. Lobotomy.

But it’s Friday. So I’m going to spruce up my casita and get ready for the weekend. There’s holiday shopping to be done, a tree to be chosen and to decorate, and maybe…just maybe…another performance of yours truly on this Sunday. Don’t hold your breath for it, though.

My follow through sucks right now.

But we’re healthy, damnit.

Dear Mr. Gynecologist…

As Toto and Dorothy continue along the long and winding road on their NaBloPoMo journey, Dorothy has gotten snippy, and Toto has begun to look longingly at her ankles, imagining what they might taste like, and just how loudly she’d scream if he chomped firmly on one…

November 20, 2007

Dear Mr. Gynecologist Doctor Person:

Reminder I just received your reminder in the mail about my annual check-up. Damn. I thought you’d have forgotten about me since I only saw you a few times. What a pleasant surprise that you remembered me! Although I must commend you for the stereotypical tasteful predictable pink fuchsia gerbera on the cover and pleasant sans serif font, it doesn’t diminish the fact that I absolutely HATE and am completely TERRIFIED of rarely look forward to taking care of this particular business.

I know. It’s necessary. And I did promised myself that after last winter, I’d take better care of myself.

But you made some adjustments last December, remember? Removed everything? There’s not a single girlie organ left. Not. One. Nada. If you knocked on my abdomen, it would most likely sound like a watermelon. Perfectly hollow.

Okay, so there are still a few other types of guts left in there. But still.

So, uh, I’m wondering just how you go about this favorite check up of mine. You know, the one I successfully avoided for more than five years which is why you had to relieve me of my equipment? Yes, that checkup.

How exactly does one have a PAP smear when one has no cervix? No uterus? Zippo ovaries? Hmmm…? I mean, think about it. You take your car to the garage for a tune up, you lift the hood, and whoops! There’s no trannie. No carburator. Hell, the engine is even missing. So what do you do? Shine things up a bit? Steam wash it? Make sure everything’s squeakin’ clean?

I can see having to go if a tune up is in order, but what exactly will you tune?

I don’t like that table with the motorized end portion. Or the stirrups. And I absolutely detest that light whose brightness resembles the ones they use when they work on freeways in the dead of night allowing anyone interested to see all the way to China without their glasses. Bright. Yanno?

But what I’m completely freaked out about is that you’re going to poke at my scars. You’re going to push on my abdomen. They not only still bother me, they creep me out, and I’m already wincing, just thinking about it.

Completely disgusting.

So I hope you don’t mind that I’ll just put this off a bit until I adjust to the idea of having missing equipment checked and hearing you say, “Yup. It’s still gone.” or “Need anything else adjusted?” And I won’t know how to respond since it’s difficult for me to tell when things are wrong with my body. I’m just not good at it. Well, unless it’s my left elbow which is completely screwed up right now. But you aren’t an elbow man, are you?

What I’d really like to say about this check up is, “Let’s not and say we did. ‘Kay?”

Okay, fine. So are there any bars near your office then? I’ll knock a few back before I get there. Well it sounds better for this situation than sipping wine and nibbling on a salad. Don’t expect me to be able to actually stay on that table once I get there, though. Okay?



p.s. And I don’t want to hear ANYTHING about not taking my hormones. Got it?

p.p.s. I know. There’s no whining, either. Whatever.

Dear Desiree…

Tally-Ho NaBloMoPo on Day 14. So move it. Can you do it? Make it burn…on three…ready? Let’s go. Whatever. But this one will be short, because I have to do a post on my food blog today, too. I was nearly done with a post two days ago, was loading the last photo, and then…Yes. That stoopid message that says something about being reset so the connection was lost came up after I realized things were getting a bit slow and I suspected the inevitable was about to happen. When’s the last time you actually saw mad? You know. Like, really mad.

November 14, 2007

Dear Ms. Bartlett:

I just thought I’d take a moment today to let you know you kicked my butt the other day. Seriously. I should have known better, and that’s what I get for not taking the time to do a bit of research; i.e., look before you leap. I should have channel-surfed a bit. But you looked so harmless. So sweet. It was that smile.

I’m sure you’re far too busy for someone like me, but I’ve been trying to find ways to make sure I get regular exercise. I don’t always look forward to it, but do a fairly good job of getting in some exercise at least four days a week. But I’ve been struggling with the time change since I have a tendency to go out late in the afternoon or early evening to walk — hopefully right before the MoH gets home. One day it was completely dark by the time I’d finished, and although I sort of enjoy that, occasionally, the brush by the side of the road engages my overactive imagination and my constructive pessimistic proclivities begin to map out my defense on the chance the boogey man is hiding in the bushes and is getting ready to jump out to get me. Little does he know that I’m ready to grab the sides of his face in my palms and dig my thumbs into his eyeball sockets, knee him in the nards, and if necessary, ram his nose up into his sinus cavity with the base of my palm. Of course, a lifetime of repressed rage would most likely also be unleashed and there wouldn’t be much left of him.

Yes. Well, um, so I had waited too long to walk and it was already dark, so I decided to take a look at the free On Demand channels on cable. I thought I’d seen something about Exercise on Demand and thought I’d give it a shot. Mind you, it was some time ago (like years) that I’d see this feature of our monthly service to Time Warner, but that’s beside the point.

You would have been proud. I had appropriate exercise clothes on, and my tennies. Hell, even my weights were close by. I have to be honest though — I was a bit worried about my left arm since it’s been so screwed up with tendonitis. But I wasn’t going to use that as an excuse. I was going to suck it up.

Suck dough balls was more like it.

Sheeeeee-it. You smiled the entire time you were kicking my butt. In fact you kept telling me to smile and each time you did, I wasn’t. What’s up with the whole smiling while your tongue’s flapping around your chin? Have you ever tried to do that? But since I’m a team player, I tried, and I did learn that if I smile with my teeth, at least I can get air into my oxygen deprived lungs.

And I did appreciate that you kept telling me that I could take a break any time I wanted. I did notice that you smiled when you said this, like it was some kind of a dare. I’ve got you all figured out, marching in place there and not losing count while you’re smiling and telling me to take it easy. And not sweating. Not a single shiny place on your body.

Do you have any idea how hard it is to hang on to a weight when sweat’s dripping down your arms? Huh? And your your spine? Well, suffice it to say it was a veritable river headed down to my drawers. At least the RT didn’t make any comments when he walked by wondering about this latest project his mother had gotten involved in. And he didn’t laugh when I grunted, either, and I was listening.

I know you know that I knew I’d be doomed after the warm up and before the weights because I was already toast. That you knew that I’d know those repetitions would make my muscles feel like they’d been flopped into a frying pan set on sizzle. You totally knew. And you smiled the entire time. But you also knew I’d feel like *thank gawd I’m done* successful and proud after you ran me through the wringer the routine. I know you’d know that I knew I’d know you knew. Yanno?

So all in all, the beginner’s (ohmygawdwhatmustheregularworkoutbelike?) workout was a freakin’ killer great and because it was an interminable, exhausting only 30 minutes, I switched to a cardio salsa dancing workout that finished the job you started immediately afterward. I’ll have to thank her another time since I couldn’t see the writing on the screen with my face on the floor didn’t catch her name.

But hey! It was so incredibly tortuous and I was so sore the next day fun, that I was thoroughly encouraged to go on my walk again, making sure I got it in before the sun went down — in the drizzling rain.

So thanks, Desiree! The next time I need my butt royally kicked an amazing workout, I know how far and fast to run in the opposite direction you da man.



p.s. Might you be related to Rachael Ray? Just asking. It must be the smile.


Actually, the workout was excellent, and I was surprised that I felt as if I’d gotten more done than twice the time on a vigorous walk. I enjoy getting outside, keeping an eye on my odd neighbors in Paradise breathing, and watching the sunset, but this is something I need to do a couple of times a week. The on demand channels are an included service, and I can exercise whenever I want, which is, well, not a whole lot different that most everything else I do. So…okay. Whatever.