Healthy Eating

Mary Ann and I went to Newk’s for lunch today and enjoyed enormous Greek chicken salads. That salad features lots of goodies like lettuce (the spiny kind which I love and Daisy hates and also the wimpy leafy kind which Daisy loves and I hate), grape tomatoes, Kalamata olives, feta, red onion (barf), slices of pepperoncini peppers, and artichoke hearts, something I can eat by the jarful.  There’s a delightful vinaigrette poured over it and you are welcome to supplement your lunch with Newk’s very own pickles, capers, jalapeños, parmesan shreds, roasted whole garlic cloves, crunchy bread sticks and/or croutons.  Newk’s also plays it fast and loose with their tea selections so really, it’s a very interesting lunch place no matter how you cut it.  I love tea.

Mary Ann and I yapped about changes at work while we ate to the very last lettuce leaf, yes even the wimpy leafy kind, and as we were leaving we saw a couple of men having the same kind of earnest conversations we just had. I’d say that they were enjoying salads with lots of additions but the truth is, only one of them was doing that.  The other man had the saddest looking salad I’ve ever seen in my whole life.  He had ordered the kale Caesar with no croutons, light cheese (apparently) and dressing on the side, so basically he had a bowl of raw kale fluff with four shreds of parmesan.  You could tell he thought it was sad, too, because mostly he sat at the table with his arms crossed while he talked and very occasionally he’d load up his fork with a wad of stiff kale and one corner of parmesan shred, delicately dip one kale curly into his dressing-on-the-side, and chew for six minutes while he tried to choke it down.  Look, I’m into health, truly, but you cannot convince me no how no way that a bowl of raw kale is an excellent lunch.  It’s not even an excellent side item.  I think he’s in the midst of a mid-life crisis, to be honest. He looked like the sort.

Speaking of men, and follow me here, I have a new roommate. He got here in September and then promptly got sent away for work so basically he pays me to store his things while he Armys off to protect dams and other federal structures.  In the month he actually resided in my home, I learned that he’s a huge fan of German food and also cake, which I can get on board with.  What I’m struggling with is that he enjoys cooking the German food and also baking the cake, and on the first pass I can see why you’d look at me in askance.

“Jimmie, everyone knows a man working in the kitchen is hot, hot, fire, and then usually there’s food afterwards, so why the struggle?”

Right. First, this is just one example of what my table looks like after his cooking is done.

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A tablecloth is not a cutting board, nor is it a napkin. You should see my floor, too, holy moly.

Secondly, new roomie wants to eat healthy. Again, “Jimmie, you have moaned about your extra hips for years, why is this a problem, you high maintenance heifer?”

Right. It’s just that his idea of eating healthy is to add red onion to everything.  Also, if we are being specific, garlic.  And then he substitutes the pork, beef, and chicken with turkey, the vegetables with spinach, any bread items with crushed Triscuits, sugar with agave nectar, flour with coconut flour, baking powder with tapioca starch, chocolate chips with grated unsweetened baker’s chocolate, and sugar free jelly for fruit. Plus he doesn’t read instructions so things like “add three whole cloves to the sauce” somehow means, “the recipe called for cloves but I’m not sure the quantity so since I have a full package, I guess 1/4 of it will work.”

“Would you like beef rouladen for dinner? You can have turkey with spinach, onion, and garlic but we will call it rouladen because it’s rolled.”*

“How about schnitzel with a potato dumpling? Sounds great!  Have this turkey with spinach, onion, and garlic!  It’s just like the rouladen but this one has a crispy Triscuit coating that got burned in the skillet.”*

“Want some cake? Pictured is a slab of chocolatey goodness covered in a fudge-like ganache but I subbed a few things and this patty of coconut flour sadness features lemon curd, a custard that never set but pooled in the center of the cake plate and on to your tablecloth, and more maraschino cherries than is good for a person.  It’s delicious and has a delicate clove essence!”*

*I might be paraphrasing.

*And he does eat a lot of red cabbage so maybe I’m slightly unfair.

You can tell he doesn’t even see the problem because he presents each dish with a flourish by waving the plate in your general direction and wafting the steam towards you with his hand. He also says, “TA DA!” and then struts around the house like a peacock while I drag the tablecloth to the washing machine for another bleaching. The first time he made a cream sauce with coconut flour, he poured the sauce over the turkey schnitzel and took a giant bite.  As his mouth worked against the glue the coconut flour created, he wrinkled his nose slightly and gave an involuntary, nearly imperceptible shudder as he said, “It works!  It’s good! Want some?”

I demurred, “I already ate, I’m stuffed, I couldn’t possibly take food from you as my tenant.” Look, I ate Roomie’s food all the time, and also Daniel’s and my cousin’s and the other roommate I never told you about, Amy.  It’s just, coconut.  Ugh.  You know?

I will say this – he’s as skinny as a bean, much like Peter, so perhaps there is a lesson in here that I’m too obtuse to see?

We had a snow day recently wherein I got house bound by an entire inch of white powder. I took that opportunity to clean and organize the pantry, the spice cabinet, the cabinets under the sink, and the closet that holds all my books.  I also tackled the refrigerator and as I threw away my enormous bag of fermenting kale I truly had intended to use in a Caesar salad, I noticed several containers stuffed in the back of the fridge, hidden behind Roommate’s delicious Cherry Cokes.  Old containers of every cream sauce he has made with coconut flour, an entire bowl of crushed almonds that had been sweetened with agave nectar and left to harden into an almond mold that would not let go of the sides of the bowl, and a red onion growing fur crowded the shelf.  The true lesson here is that he doesn’t want to eat that crap either.  When he serves it, we sit at the table with our arms crossed while we have earnest conversations and very occasionally load up our forks with a wad of his “ta da” offerings to delicately dip one burnt turkey corner into our coconut flour cream sauce and chew for six minutes while we try to choke it down.

It’s great! Please bring dinner.

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Words of Wisdom, From Joe

“Jimmie!” said Joe. “Did you know that macaroni has lots of calories?”

My supper club bunch and I were having dinner at Finezza’s (Italian – very good, highly recommend), and Joe had apparently watched a new documentary.

“Yes, I know,” I replied.

“It’s got more than the cheese! I thought macaroni and cheese was healthy!”

“No,” I replied smugly*, “noodles have a lot of empty calories. They are a great way to convey flavors to your mouth but the calorie payoff is pretty rough.”

*I can say this with smugness because I’ve recently given up all grains and if I don’t say it smugly, I might cry.

“Also, did you know that fruit juice is mostly sugar?” Joe was distraught.

“Yes, Joe, I know. It’s disappointing.  It sounds so good for you but it’s really not,” I replied.

Joe shook his head mournfully. “No wonder I’ve gained so much weight,” he said (he hasn’t) and then he sighed.

The waiter rounded the table to take our orders and I wondered what Joe would eat. He’s a lot like Dammit Todd.  His food is his focus until the meal is gone and there’s no talking to him until the last bite has been consumed.  He thoroughly enjoys whatever he has ordered and it’s a pleasure to watch him at dinner.

“What will you have, sir?” she asked Joe.

“Lasagna, please. Extra cheese.  And lemonade, thanks.”

Oh, Joe. I do love him.

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Snarky

This weekend I went shopping with Daisy. Often I like to shop for undergarments and often I drive my shopping partners nuts because I only wear matching sets.  Finding matching sets isn’t always easy for me despite all those cute undercracker sets you see in Target.  Those cute sets only come in size perky or petite, and this will surprise you, but I am neither.

I’ve been on a quest to find the right nude and white sets of undies. I’m sorry, this is TMI, but we are in the trenches now.  Anyway, on my quest, I’ve recently purchased and worn a set of each, only to discover that the brassieres are at minimum a size too large, despite my having been measured by an “expert.”  (“Expert” here means a shop girl holding a measuring tape and the measuring is done over the blouse, not “expert” like that high school football player who offered to “measure” me that one time because he “knows titties.”)

Daisy was off in the sized perky and petite bathing suits, rummaging for a suit for our pending Florida vacation, when a brassiere measuring “expert” approached me about the undergarments I was riffling through. “Would you like to try one of those?” she asked.  “It’s the best brand.  They fit like a dream.”

“Sure,” I said, because we all know that once a woman trails off into the bathing suit section, things can take a lengthy turn. It’s because women like being mean to themselves and criticizing all their perceived flaws, and I was going to let Daisy do that in peace because no amount of my telling her she’s perky and petite will make trying on a bathing suit any easier.  What else was I going to do with my time but try on some bras? Plus, I was in the market for one.

The “expert” trundled me off to the dressing room to give me a thorough measuring and once she got a gander at my (super cute, almost perfectly fitting) bra, she began bellowing.

“WELL NO WONDER YOU ARE IN HERE. That bra fit is AWFUL. MY GOD, THIS IS TERRIBLE.  You aren’t in the right size AT ALL.  Look at that wide back!  You need a triple D, with LOTS OF SUPPORT, GOODNESS!!!”

She waddled out of the dressing room after my thorough tongue-lashing during which I had to say, “Could you please not let everyone in the store hear my business? Could you please stop yelling?” and helped me select three bras. I picked the pretty ones and she picked the parachutes.

“Try these on,” she ordered. “They are meant to COVER THE BREAST UNLIKE THAT THING YOU HAVE ON THAT LETS THEM SHOW OUT THE TOP.” I clutched my three selections and shame-facedly made it back to the dressing room, me and my ill-fitted bosoms.

The first one, her selection, sure did fit like a dream, if a dream fits too large and droopy. My whole breast was swimming in there, and if any of you have breasts, you could have put one of yours off in there with mine.  It isn’t often I put on an undergarment that is too large, but I have to say, that was heady stuff.  I turned to the side to see how the breast just kind of pushed out from the body and then flopped over like a pancake on the lip of a plate.  That was weird because my breasts don’t do that even on their own, even unfettered.  I’m 44 but gravity hasn’t killed me yet.

The second one was just as bad. Maybe bigger in the cup size, though, and instead of making me look like I had pancakes for boobs, I looked like a little kid in my grandmother’s bra which was stuffed with pads and slightly pointy.

“How’s it going in there?” the sales lady hollered through the door.

“I look like a battle ax in these. I mean, the hooks on the back cover up the entire area between the top of my shoulder blade to the bottom of my rib cage.  And the straps are like rip cords. Very sturdy and not at all flattering.”  I was not impressed.

Neither was she. “YOUR ENTIRE BREAST IS FALLING OUT OF YOUR BRA.  These are meant to be SUPPORTIVE, something you CLEARLY NEED.”  I remembered how my breasts looked in my super cute, almost perfectly fitted t-shirt just five minutes ago when they were high and tight in my super cute, almost perfectly fitted bra and was puzzled.

I tried, though. “Sure, I’m with you, but this bra will stick out of my shirts because it comes up so high. The one I own is more of a lifter and separator, because I like my breasts placed in the breast region, not smashed down and covered to my neck, where, and this is weird, I don’t have any breasts. Does anyone have breasts up to their neck? Because this cup comes up to my neck.”

“You do what you want but I wear these all the time,” she sniffed, and then stiffly marched back to her cash register.

I tried on the pretty bra that I picked out and wouldn’t you know it really did fit like a dream. I didn’t look like a ‘ho, but then I didn’t look like Maxine either.  I turned this way and that and admired how high and tight everything was, how I could breathe normally, how nothing fell out of the bottom, and then I took it off and hung it back on the hanger.

As I walked out of the dressing room, the sales lady called, “Did you like that one?”

“I did,” I replied.

“There is a free gift with purchase,” she enticed even though she was still offended.

“Ooh,” I mulled. “Is the free gift a matching panty?” I was intrigued and would have slapped down the ridiculous $65-per-bra lickety split if she had said yes.  But she didn’t.

“No, it’s a lingerie bag. We don’t have matching panties for that bra.”

And that was that. Bra back on the rack, Daisy and I out, saleslady miffed.

That’s how it goes, folks. Never an easy answer for boobs like mine.

 

 

Don’t Freak Out. I Am Okay.

So I had a heart test last week. I’m leading with that in case any of you were planning to give me a hard time about being gone for so long.  Making you feel guilty right out of the gate is a neat deflector when I don’t have a good explanation for my absence other than “lazy” and “in a highly committed relationship with my sofa.”

I had stress echocardiogram to be exact, which is usually prescribed when someone is having chest pains and the like. I wasn’t having chest pains or shortness of breath but I could feel my heart inside my chest.  When I can feel my ovaries inside my abdomen, I know the pain is coming and that there’s no amount of Advil or chocolate or heating pads that will make that pain stop, so when I became suddenly aware of a new sensation in my heart, I assumed it would be the same.  Like all rational people, when the sensation hit at 2:00 am, I self-diagnosed “impending heart attack” and took an aspirin and then toyed with the idea of writing a living will in case I kicked off in the middle of the night.  Note that I did not drive myself to the ER or make a doctor’s appointment, nor did I write a living will.

Perhaps I will do that now in case I ever do kick off in the middle of the night.

Jimmie’s Living Will:

Do not put me on a machine to live.

Give away every organ you can.

Incinerate the remainder of me or donate the remainder of me to science.

Martie is to sell my house and pocket the equity, give my car to whichever kid is next in line to get one, and use my retirement money for somebody’s college education.

Woney gets my Tiffany bow necklace, Daisy can have back the earrings she lent me, Phranke gets Seamus (because Murphy will expire from a broken heart when I do), and Martie gets all the rest.

There. Done.

After self-diagnosing “impending heart attack” three or four times, I did make an appointment with my doctor who scheduled my stress echo, and clearly I am okay because I told you in the title that I was. Here’s the good part, though, the part you have been waiting for ever since I started this post.  I had to take my clothes off for this test.  And because I had to take my clothes off, I handled this doctor’s appointment with as much aplomb and finesse as all my other doctors’ appointments wherein my clothing has to be removed.   Here’s the breakdown of that visit:

Pro:

  • Nothing is wrong with my heart.

Cons:

  • I waited 52 minutes for my test. I asked and was told twice that there was no back up and that my appointment would happen right on time but I waited 52 minutes and had to listen to not only Rachael Ray’s talk show but also The Price is Right.
  • I had to wear a gown.
  • The schedulers told me three times I could keep my clothes on but I had to wear a gown.
  • The gown was too small.
  • Steven, a student, was invited to observe my test for which I had to wear a gown that was too small.
  • It took too much screeching at a pitch only dogs could hear before we all agreed that having Steven the student join us was a bad idea. My throat hurt.
  • No matter how much screeching at a pitch only dogs could hear that I did, I still had to hoof it 12 minutes on a treadmill with no bra and in a gown that was too small.
  • It took too much screeching at a pitch only dogs could hear for one of the technicians to finally say to her co-workers, “You know, we should probably try to remember what this is like on both sides of the table, shouldn’t we?”
  • My eyes looked like two peas in the snow for 48 hours from all the crying.

Pro:

  • The gown wasn’t paper.

With excellent test results, I’m still left with the question of what’s causing my new occasional heart sensation. A few months ago I began a new eating plan in an effort to rid myself of all of these pesky hips and stomachs I have collected.  I cut out all grains, all diet sodas, and most sugar.  My only treats are unsweetened tea, delicious, and 90% cacao chocolate, which on the first pass tastes like scorched coffee grounds with a hint of cocoa but on the third or fourth pass tastes like divinity made by God, Himself.  I’ve lost a small hunk of weight due to this eating plan – not enough that you will be clamoring for me to sun myself at your beach parties so that you may behold the beauty of my body, but enough that my pants are too big.  It also seems that this new eating plan has done something to the sensitivity of my insides because caffeine, found in both of my meager and sad treats, causes me heart sensations that I do not enjoy.  There’s nothing wrong with me that cutting out my two pitiful and pathetic treats won’t fix.

I mean, I’m guessing. We have no answer for my heart feelings, but as we all have learned, I’m the master at self-diagnosing.  I’m so, so good at it, so good in fact that I get to pay an enormous chunk of my medical deductible off early in the year for a test that told me absolutely nothing was wrong and that I am free to be sick as a dog for the whole rest of the year without monetary penalty from my insurance company.  I have no delicious treats with which to console myself but spending $2200 to discover that when I feel my heart in my chest, the pain of losing my favorite creature comforts is coming and there really is no amount of chocolate, Advil, or heating pad that can fix it.

Sigh . . . no more chocolate.

I missed you all, btw.

Love,

Jimmie, M.D.

Who Decided Eggs Had To Be Breakfast Food Anyway

Speaking of Squirt, the last time I was in Florida with Daisy, Squirt came to stay at our snazzy beach house with us. She had to sleep on the couch, of course, because one of the beautiful things about being single and self-indulgent is that when you go on vacation with a friend who is also single and self-indulgent, everyone gets their own room. No sharing of the bed, I don’t care how much I love you.  (God, when my husband who does not wear skinny jeans comes along, and also my husband who is similarly-to-me aged comes along [same man], please bring us a king sized bed.  I’m going to love him but I’m going to like him better when he’s all the way over there while I sleep. Amen.)

Anyway, Daisy and I went to Florida, now an annual trip in case you were wondering, and Squirt came to stay. Daisy and I took turns cooking breakfast. Since neither of us can abide an egg, and since Daisy is currently off carbs, our breakfast grocery shopping is a bit unconventional.  Daisy’s offering came in the form of hot dogs and Atkins bars, always delicious.  Mine came in the form of this:

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I slaved away in kitchen and presented plates to both roomies. “Ta da,” I said, “breakfast is served!”

Squirt looked at me, fresh from her slumber on the sofa. “Wha?  Why?  That’s peas . . . “

“Yes!” I exclaimed. “With turkey bacon and cheese!”

Daisy said, “Is there butter?” Squirt said, “Is this even real meat?”

“NO! Peas are good on their own! Yes, I think so! Except it smells like plastic if you cook it for too long, so I don’t do that!”  I was muy entusiasmado, usually a problem for those who are not also similarly morning people.

Tentatively, Squirt said, “Do you have any eggs, maybe?”

Which brings me to my rant. Why do eggs have to be breakfast food?  Who determined that sausage should have an Italian version, a smoked version and also a breakfast version which is a complete non-descriptor?  Why pancakes only in the morning?  Why can’t we have pancakes for dinner and just call it pancakes for dinner?  We always have to say “breakfast foods for dinner.  I love breakfast foods for dinner!”  No. This is wrong on many levels.

Firstly, eggs are gross. They taste like eggs, particularly when scrambled.  I can abide a good deviled egg but it must be super salty and mustardy and I only eat the white parts if they are covered in yellow.  I can abide a fried egg only when it’s over something like toast or potatoes which mask the flavor.  I can abide a hard-boiled egg covered in ranch dressing or a very good Italian.  First thing in the morning, though?  Oh, my stomach.  OH, HURK.

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Secondly, why aren’t turkey sandwiches considered a breakfast food? Peas, also.  Lately, I’ve even found myself enamored of a roasted beet or steamed Brussels sprout for breakfast.  Full of fiber, pretty colors, throw some olive on there to clean out the arteries.  What’s not great about starting your day that way?

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I did some research to figure this out so that you don’t have to. I found this, about Edward Bernays, long considered the father of public relations:

“To get an idea of Bernays’ abilities, think for a moment about a traditional breakfast. What do you think of? If you are like most, you will come up with bacon and eggs — so what? Prior to 1915, bacon was not part of a traditional breakfast — so Edward Bernays was hired to increase bacon consumption in the United States. He incorporated a new theory of gaining assent from recognized leaders either with their knowing cooperation or without. He conducted a survey among physicians and received their overwhelming recommendation that Americans should eat a hearty breakfast. Coupled with predictive results from the physicians, he began an advertising campaign stressing that a breakfast of bacon and eggs was just that — a hearty breakfast. It may sound simple, but look where we are today because of it.” (Jack Monnett, PhD.)*

I guess I can blame Edward Bernays for eggs-for-breakfast tradition. And I guess this is only two levels of wrong but it’s my post.

For the record, Martie has lots to say about my breakfast selections. Mostly they involve phrases like, “No.”  Also, “OMG, why???”  Perhaps even a “You are gross, how are we sisters?”  Then she sends pictures of her lobster grits, consumed at Blue Heaven in Key West and I ask the same question.  Daisy felt similiarly, I think, despite her fondness for hotdogs at breakfast but I believe I changed her.  On our last day of Florida vacation, Daisy fixed us breakfast.  It was a giant bowl of peas, loaded with butter and salt, and it was delicious.

And that, my friends, is all I have to say about that.

*http://www.ourrepubliconline.com/Author/183

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Squirt with her new Paraguayan friend, Gilbert.

Fine

My list of things that are fine:

Seamus: Despite his new-found love of eating my hair, Seamus seems healthy. I mean, he’s as fat as a bear but since he goes nuts every time I drop a ponytail holder on the floor, all jumping around and leaping off of walls and tossing it into the air, I can’t see how his fatness is hurting him in any way.  Is hairspray toxic to cats?  Is it delicious to cats?  I have no idea but I wake up every morning to him purring like a freight train in my ear and chewing on his selected wad of my hair.

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Pat: Pat, of my senior citizen dining companion group, got out of the van to enter our chosen restaurant last month and promptly fell off the curb.  She’s not a good listener, to her own inner safety voice or the outer loud voice of her driver telling her to wait before stepping onto the curb, but bless her heart, she put one foot on the curb and went down like a sack of potatoes.  I gasped and ran over to her side of the van to help her.  The whole group of us gasped and stood over her offering help.  A very handsome, very single man galloped out of the restaurant to offer his assistance.  He grasped her under the arms with his manly, very manly hands and tried to lever his wide shoulders into a lifting position but Pat said, “No, I’m fine.”

“Pat!” I hissed. “This man is marvelous, stunningly handsome and rugged, let him pick you up!”

“I’m okay,” she insisted from her position near the tire and around his bulbous, well-defined biceps. “I can do this myself.”

Jan, me in thirty years, said, “Pat, come on, he’s here already. He’s already got you.  Let him help.”

Pat said, “I’m fine, really.” So the man released his tender yet firm grip and went back inside the restaurant.  A few moments later Pat allowed a young hipster wearing skinny jeans and a fluffy beard to pick her up and put her back on her feet, both of them on the curb this time.  I guess everyone has a type.  Also, Pat is just fine.  No scratches or bruises of any kind.  No date from a rugged manly hottie with wide shoulders for either one of us, but fine.

 

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This is not Pat, but this is Joe. I’ve talked about him before.

The love lives of all those around me: ♥ Dammit Todd and Ashley broke up a while ago and we no longer love Ashley.  But Dammit Todd has found himself a new girlfriend, one who is lovely and one who we like a lot.  ♥ Luke also has himself a new girlfriend, also one who is lovely.  He explained to her our situation of trading food for internet service yet I still wondered if she harbored any unease over our close relationship.  However, the day he introduced the two of us, he didn’t warn me he was bringing her over and thus I answered the door in my favorite pajamas:  a college t-shirt that I purchased when I graduated (1994) and have washed approximately once a week since then so to say it is thin and full of holes would be accurate, and some floppy shorts that are at minimum one size too big and not even remotely in the color palette of the t-shirt.  Plus I had my hair up in a wad that had been Seamus-chewed.  I do believe any uneasiness she might have had vanished the moment she clapped her eyes on the vision that is me in my loungewear.  ♥ Pee-tah and his loved-up boyfriend broke up recently and I am sad for them.  I was so hopeful for them.  But I get my gay husband back so I guess this is a win for me.  ♥ Also, Daniel has found himself a new boyfriend and even though they don’t speak the same language, not a single word of the other’s dialect, they get along really well.  ♥ Martie and Coach celebrated 17 years of marriage the other day so I’d say they are fine, too.  Love is in the air!

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Tom Hardy: This needs no explanation.

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Stole this from the innernet. That mouth, tho . . .

Me: I had my follow-up visit with my new cookie doctor and despite the bad words and spectacles I hurled at the wall during my last visit (this is not written to be funny, but to be true – I really did those things), she was very friendly towards me. She withdrew from a drawer a large number of photos of cervixes, etc. and explained that I have some bad cells that are not resolving on their own, that have been there for ten years or so. She explained all of this whilst showing me pictures of what I’ve got going on and what could possibly happen if I don’t treat this.  So treat this I will.  One more visit wherein I don the fetching paper towel called a gown and then I get to be knocked out cold for the display of my lady parts on a paper-covered table in order to remove/burn off any offending cells.  I’m not sure if the induction to mild coma is more for my benefit or theirs but either way, I won’t care a whit who has what kind of headlamp and metal rake if I’m dreaming of hot ruggedly handsome men with wide shoulders picking me up off the sidewalk next to a van. And then I will be completely fine.  Thousands of women have this done all the time, so really, no need to worry.

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Me in an ice bar. Story coming soon . . .

 

Are you guys fine? Since I’ve gotten off Facebook I’m very out of touch.  I don’t regret the decision at all but I do want to note that in the first three months of my departure, I have forgotten three birthdays.  If I forget you, I’m truly sorry.  I’ll make up for it with a cupcake if you forgive me.  Deal?  Deal.

My Snow Day(s)

I live in Nashville. This weekend I got snowed in.  Well, Nashville got snowed in. We had eight inches of snow in my neighborhood while other neighborhoods got more like ten inches.  I know all of you Michiganers and Wisconsiners are all, “Really?  Eight inches is child’s play. Amateurs.”  And of course, we are.  We are ill-equipped to deal with this kind of snow.  We are ill-equipped to deal with ice, too, which makes no sense because we get gobs of that mess every year.

Friday morning I awoke early and for a change had a good hair day. I was preening in the mirror, fluffing my coif before I liberally decanted a tin of hairspray onto it when I received a text from my boss.  “You should probably stay home today.  The roads are in rough shape.”  (Everyone knows I don’t watch the weather because: no television.  I have people looking out for me, y’all.)

“But I had a good hair day,” I wailed.

“Take some selfies and then go back to bed.” She is an excellent boss.

I thought about her suggestion but see above: good hair. I hated to waste it. Instead of clambering back in amongst my pillows and two cats, I opted to perch prettily on the sofa with a book until my new young roommate woke up so he could appreciate my fluffy halo of hair. That would have been an excellent plan except for the key words in that above sentence:  “young” and “he.”  Not being young anymore, I forget how they like to sleep:  like the dead and late.    And not being male, I forget that men who are not looking for a chance to sleep with you really don’t give two figs what your hair looks like.  When Daniel finally rolled out of bed, he thundered down the stairs, hollered “good morning” and thundered out the door to rescue a friend who had gotten stuck at work in his ten inches of snow.  As Daniel trundled off in his car for a four-hour rescue trip, I broke my Derek Zoolander pose, sighed, and put my hair up in a ponytail.

Then I got busy.

Below is my list of what I accomplished in 2.5 days of being snowbound:

I cooked:

  • Fried pork chops (Luke and Daniel ate them.)
  • Mashed potatoes (Luke and Daniel ate them.)
  • Roasted Brussels sprouts (Luke and Daniel ate them.)
  • Chocolate peppermint cake (Still sitting on the counter, getting stale – smells good, tho.)
  • Pizza, from scratch (A bust – yeast has an expiration date, did you know that?)
  • Pork roast with potatoes, carrots and mushrooms (I got to eat some of this! But Luke and Daniel ate it.)
  • Roasted garlic and shallots (Luke ate these.)
  • Hard boiled eggs (Still in fridge. Not sure what to do with them.  Suggestions?)

Also, I cooked:

  • Broccoli (Only I ate this.)
  • Brown rice (No one wanted any but me.)

Later, I dug out all the skin care and hair care samples I have accumulated over the years and tried them all. My skin has experienced:

  • Algae face scrub (Rendered my skin green. Despite not caring a whit about my perfect hair, new young male roommates will notice when you emerge from the bathroom with green skin, so much so that they will choke on the pork roast and wheeze, “My God!  Are you okay?”)
  • Something del Sol face wash (Made me oily.)
  • Philoposhy volumizing serum (Belatedly realized this was meant for hair.)
  • Black Pine Tar face lotion (Smells like grandma which is strangely comforting.)
  • Origins brightening under eye cream (Eyes still puffy – check!)
  • Fake tan (Rendered me streaky orange.)

My teeth were brushed with:

  • Crest Whitening toothpaste (Normal use but approximately five times more than usual.)
  • Coconut oil (Did you know that stuff is thick? Gag.)
  • Mixture of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda (Foamy!)
  • Hairspray (Liberal use too near my toothbrush.)

My hair was doused with:

  • Ion (Promised to make it Soft! Strong! Healthy! But actually made it look like straw.)
  • No other items because I felt like making it look like straw was trauma enough, plus I used up the Philosophy in one go on my face.

Also, I organized the following:

  • Sock drawer (Pristine!)
  • Hoodie shelf (I’m down to 16 hoodies. From 35.  I call this miraculous.)
  • Cat food cabinet (They had a lot of treats. Seamus ate them.)

I read three books, cover to cover. Here are my favorite quotes:

  • “People mostly have it backward. They think they live by what they want.  But really what guides them is what they’re afraid of. What they don’t want.” ~ Odelia, And the Mountains Echoed (Khaled Hosseini)
  • “Daniel Craig is James Bond. He wouldn’t have a limp little wiener floating around like that.” ~ Lula, Tricky Twenty-Two (Janet Evanovich)

You understand I had to balance out the classy with the trashy. No one can read three emotionally wrenching books in a row.  No one.

Also, I vacuumed twice, did two very strenuous and vomit-inducing workouts, crunched my abs 420 times, shaved my legs and greased up every inch of my skin with some real deal cocoa butter. This last bit rendered me unable to sit on surfaces of any sort for a few hours as I’d slide off to the floor with a thunk.  It takes a while for that stuff to soak in but when it does, your skin is soft for about six whole hours!

When the roads finally cleared enough for me to leave the house, I sped over to Kroger and walked the aisles for twenty minutes. I didn’t need a thing but it was such a glorious luxury to move around outside my home.  Went to the library, too.

All in all, it was a pretty eventful weekend. What did you do?

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